Colum Eastwood has welcomed confirmation from Brexit Secretary David Davis that Northern Ireland would have an "automatic route" back into the EU if it were part of a united Ireland.It occurs to me immediately that there is a possible route for Scotland here, which probably only works if Ireland unites. Possibly not even then, depending on how Brussels looks on this particular plan.
Unlike Scotland, which has been told it could be forced to join a queue for membership of the bloc if the country votes for independence, the province would not have to reapply for EU membership, as the Republic is already one of the existing member states, Tory minister said.
In a letter to SDLP MP Mark Durkan, David Davis wrote: “If a majority of the people of Northern Ireland were ever to vote to become part of a united Ireland the UK Government will honour its commitment to enable that to happen.”
He added: “In that event, Northern Ireland would be in a position of becoming part of an existing EU member state, rather than seeking to join the EU as a new independent state.
"It would of course be for the EU Commission to respond to any specific questions about the procedural requirements for that to happen."
If it is the case that becoming part of an existing EU member state means a country does not have to reapply for EU membership, clearly that's the preferred route. So after a united Ireland--possibly within hours of unification--Ireland and Scotland can then form the Celtic Union, and the whole Union would remain an EU member state.
Obviously, one would want to know whether the EU would be willing to accept this before embarking on this course of action.
Disclaimer: I am not either an Irish or UK citizen, or a citizen of any EU member state.
I have found two letters to the Irish Times advocating Celtic Union, but neither of them directly addresses the EU membership issue.
I have also found a letter to the Belfast Telegraph which does explicitly address the issue of EU membership.
I'm glad people are thinking along these lines. One hopes they can get organized in the next two years, as the clock is now ticking.