Engaging in British politics over the past few months has, for so many, been an exercise in containing disappointment. Brexiteers are angry the UK didn’t leave the EU on March 29 as planned. Remainers are furious that the government is still theoretically committed to doing so, perhaps without an exit deal. Corbyn fans are outraged about their idol’s truly appalling approval ratings and Labour’s poor performances in local and European elections. Conservatives and liberals are terrified that, despite this, a man who has defended and befriended terrorist groups and anti-Semitic racists could very plausibly become Prime Minister.
Yet, for me at any rate, none of this matched the emotional impact of a YouGov poll published last month which covered Tory attitudes to the union. The survey found that, among Conservative members, 63 percent thought Scotland leaving the United Kingdom is an acceptable price to ensure Brexit takes place. Asked if Northern Ireland leaving is an acceptable price, the figure was only a little lower, at 59 percent.