Support for Brexit falls sharply in the North of Ireland

Intense opposition to hard border, study finds, as backing for leave falls 13 points

Protesters near an anti-Brexit mural erected by Sinn Féin in west Belfast, December 2017.

Northern Ireland would vote overwhelmingly in favour of remaining in the EU if a second referendum was held, a survey has found.

The survey comes as the Brexit secretary, David Davis, made a second flying visit to Northern Ireland on Sunday, meeting businesses as part of his cabinet research into the “maximum facilitation” option for a post-Brexit customs system.

In 2016, the region voted 56% to remain and 44% to leave, but support for leaving the bloc has fallen 13 points to 31%, undermining the Democratic Unionist party’s continued staunch backing for Brexit.

“The proportion wanting to remain has risen since the 2016 referendum as more people have become aware of the possible costs and inconveniences of leaving the EU, as citizens and as employees or employers,” said Brendan O’Leary, a professor of political science at Queen’s University Belfast.

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The survey also showed significant levels of support for illegal or extreme protests against any north-south border checks, particularly among Catholics, who dominate the border communities.

The survey commissioned by researchers at Queen’s and funded by the UK in a Changing Europe thinktank, found that two years after the referendum support for remain had risen to 69% and leave had dropped to 31%.

lisa o’carroll
How Northern Ireland voted in 2017 –
Green: Sinn Fein,
Red: DUP,
Grey: Independent

May 18, 2018
Accompanying research interviews on attitudes in Northern Ireland found “a substantial and intense opposition” to border checks between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and to checks in airports and ports between Northern Ireland and Britain.

In the most comprehensive piece of research on attitudes to Brexit to date, it also found that there were strong expectations that north-south and east-west checks would attract protests that could “quickly deteriorate into violence”.

There was “substantial” support for Northern Ireland staying in the customs union and the single market, something to which the DUP is implacably opposed.

Support among Protestants to remain in the customs union and single market was marginally higher at 62% compared with 61% of Catholics.

The prospect of a no-deal exit and a hard border would play to Sinn Féin’s political aims of a united Ireland, with 53% of Catholics in favour if this was the outcome of the Brexit negotiations.

Opposition to border checks was higher among Catholic communities. More than half of Catholics (55%) and 70% of those who support Sinn Féin said customs checks were “almost impossible to accept” while one in five Catholics, and one in three Catholics who voted for Sinn Féin, found camera-based technology “almost impossible to accept”.

Both Catholics and Protestants voiced concern in the research over north-south border checks.

“I think the ceasefire would go,” said one Protestant, a leave supporter aged 45-59. “I could see it going the way it was before, with roads being closed off in various places because they can’t properly police it,” said a Protestant voter aged over 60 who supports remain.

“Protests would start peaceful and then if they don’t get anywhere they would just escalate it,” said a young Catholic remain voter.

Some were relaxed about cameras, saying “CCTV is everywhere in Northern Ireland”, but in in-depth discussion groups there was a “prevailing view that they would be vandalised”.

There was also a high level of support for peaceful protests against east-west checks and some significant support for illegal protests, with 9% of Protestants and 14% of Catholics supporting protests up to the level of roadblocks to stop traffic.

“What may surprise people is the extent to which Catholics oppose all borders within these islands,” said John Garry, a professor at Queen’s.

The Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesman, Tom Brake, said: “The surge of people in Northern Ireland who would now vote to remain in the EU also provides yet more evidence that there must be a vote on the final deal that provides the option of an exit from Brexit – particularly if that deal is a perilous one for Ireland.”

• This article was amended on 21 May 2018. An earlier version said that 51% of Catholics supported remaining in the customs union and single market. The survey found that figure to be 61%.

With many thanks to: The Guardian for the origional story.

As promised, this mural has been created at Brock Way car park, (behind Doutta Gala Hotel) Kensington, Melbourne, Australia.

While painting it, some passers by were very happy to see it, and recognised the person in the image because they’d been following the news around Israel’s ongoing occupation of Palestinian territory and the massacre of Gazans. This mural is a dedication to the people of Palestine as well as others around the world who understand that if you’re treated like you don’t exist by mainstream media, and the most powerful military forces in the world strategically seek to gradually annihilate you, you will fight back with whatever means you have.

The text on the mural reads:
“Palestinian Fadi Abusalah lost his legs after an Israeli air strike destroyed his home in 2014………………In May 2018, he was shot by an IDF sniper and lost his life”.
#JerusalemIsTheCapitalOfPalestine #freepalestine🇵🇸 #marchofreturn2018 #apartheidwall #fadiabusalah #freeahedtamimi #politicalmurals #vantrudd #kensingtonflats #gazamassacre #apartheidisrael
@mondoweiss @electronicintifada

With many thanks to: Van T Rudd for the origional story.

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The revolving door of disability assessments and appeal is still killing people who are chronically ill

Politics and Insights

Sandra BurnsSandra Burns

Social security was originally designed to ensure that everyone was protected from the worst ravages of unfettered capitalism. To say that we have regressed as a society since then is an understatement. 

‘Behavioural economics’ are currently embedded within our current welfare system. This is a technocratic solution to essentially politically created problems. It addresses social problems by simply shifting the blame and responsibility from state to individual. This has led to an increasingly punitive social security system, aimed at pushing people into employment, regardless of whether or not they are able to work. ‘Nudge’ is increasingly being used by an authoritarian Conservative government to ensure citizens behaviours are aligned with neoliberal ideology and policy outcomes.

People who are chronically ill are suffering terribly because of the government’s anti-welfare ideolology. Yet most of us have paid tax and National Insurance to ensure that we have access to social security…

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Celtic Football Club Double Treble Winners …All The Highlights From Hampden Park,And Celtic Park …

The Celtic Footsoldiers

What A Season Its Been didn’t think anything could top 2016-17 Invincibles season but this ones been special too ..there’s no doubt who is the most successful club in scotland hands down ,the players the manager have been first class ..we welcome the challenge from aberdeen and hibs next season ..and maybe the wee diddy team from govan …..


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