I am an Ulster Protestant, of Unionist extraction, who believes in a United Ireland. There are not all that many of us, but our number is growing by the day. I also believe in a United Europe, which I wish, rather desperately, to see reformed. In this, I am very far from alone. Two thirds of Ulster voters opted for Remain, and polls suggest that more would do so in the event of a second referendum.
Yet the only voice the British Government listens to in Northern Ireland is the strident monotone of the DUP, which, for reasons that are entirely due to its wish to see a strong border, is obsessively pro-Brexit and whose leader, Arlene Foster, is on record as saying that she would flee the country in the event of Irish unity.
If I could change history, it would be to create a United Ireland inside a United Kingdom inside a United Europe. The Home Rule Bill would have gone through in 1918, leading to meaningful devolution for Ireland and, over time, to similar arrangements for Scotland and Wales, with England, divided into its constituent regions, governed by an English Parliament meeting in the former House of Lords. The federal capital would have been established at Westminster – where else? – with a prime minister and cabinet responsible for defence, foreign policy, national security, constitutional questions and trade.