As a Unionist – as opposed to a Protestant tribalist I am bemused and frustrated by two things.
The fact that nationalists get to twitter on about a United Ireland without ever being challenged by even the basic arthmatic.
Today it was Sinn Fein
Two, the fact that the ‘unionist’ parties seem to have given up on even promoting the Union let alone challenging nationalism.
Some interesting stats:
The UK Gross external debt is $9.12 Trillon
Per Capita for our 61m population this works out at $149,281 each. In sterling that’s £91,761 each
In other words $268,200,000 is owed on behalf of NI’s 1.8m people.
The Republic of Ireland Gross external debt is $2.25 Trillion
Per capita for their 4.2m population this works $535,529 each or a staggering £330,179 each.
Uniting Ireland would mean adding Northern Ireland’s debt to the Republic’s.
This United Ireland would have Gross external debt of £2.52 Trillion.
But the population would now be 6m.
The new Republic’s per capita debt would be $419,700.
Every citizen of the current Republic would be $115,829 better off!
Everyone in Northern Ireland would be $270,419 worse off!
At today’s exchange rate this means that the price of Uniting Ireland is £166,082 for everyone living in Northern Ireland.
Even if London was feeling generous and let us leave and decided to shoulder our portion of the debt the men, women and children of NI would have to take on their ‘fair’ share of the new Republic’s debt. This would be $375, 033. (or £231,063) £139,302 more debt per head than in the UK!
Of course Sinn Fein and SDLP, etc will argue that this debt does not have to be paid off in any hurry. That’s partially true but this debt is real and any United Ireland would have to pay the interest even if it never paid off any of the debt.
Ultimately the interest (if not the debt) will have to be paid for by increased taxes.
How many people will vote for this United Ireland?
Safe in the knowledge you are making yourself, your family and your descendants liable for over £100,000 extra national debt per person and the increased taxation and/or poorer services this would necessitate.
Remember too that this is in addition to the actual huge annual subvention Northern Ireland receives as part of the Block Grant.
If a United Ireland had to find that money too – the best part of £10 billion per year – then the Republic’s Gross External Debt would rise.
Of course in reality it wouldnt because they wouldnt be able to raise the money.
So in reality benefits, pensions, healthcare, etc would all have to be drastically reduced across both parts of the island.
Time for a reality check. There will never be a United Ireland.