Brexit shock: Irish didn't think Brexit was even possible for Johnson, says ex-envoy World | News


Meanwhile, Ray Bassett, the former Irish ambassador to Canada, Jamaica and the Bahamas, held a referendum on a united Ireland that would leave Northern Ireland, probably "eventually" will happen – although he emphasized that so & # 39; one vote in the near future would be his future. Mr Bassett, who said Euroscepticism in Ireland earlier this year, built with possible "Irexit" on "In the run-up to the 2016 referendum, no one with whom I spoke said that the British would vote Leaving the EU – they just thought it wouldn't happen. "As a result, very little attention was paid to what arrangements would be needed if Brexit became a reality, Bassett said.

He added: "I think there is still a belief that a deal will be worked out somehow that will prevent a no deal situation, which would be very harmful to Ireland.

"I didn't start here as a hard line Brexiteer.

"I just told people that we have to be ready in case it should happen.

"I think that if Boris Johnson becomes Prime Minister, it will probably get a little more attention as the October 31 deadline approaches."

Last week, Dublin-based Sinn Fein leader Mary-Lou McDonald told RTE & # 39; s Radio One: "The government must prepare for the ultimate scenario, where if an economic border is possible on the island of Ireland, we must be prepared to take the steps for a referendum in terms of constitutional change.

"The reason we have advanced that position is because we do not want to see disordered Brexit.

"We also don't want us to stumble upon the question and the field of constitutional change in an orderly fashion.

"Public opinion was clear that they will consider the issue of the border and want to see it."

Northern Ireland is a part of the UK, with the Democratic Unionist Party led by Arlene Foster, who is strongly committed to the Union, but an important and growing minority, mainly from the Catholic community, supports the idea of ​​the island of Ireland to unite in a country.

Such a referendum would inevitably be deeply divided.

Ms McDonald's comments are indicative of her belief that referenda on both sides of the border would be triggered in the case of a no-deal Brexit, claiming it was a violation of the Good Friday agreement (GFA) ) would mean – a position on which Mr Bassett was skeptical.

He explained: "I think a vote on a united Ireland will eventually take place – but not for a while.

"Sinn Fein is looking for an issue that they can figure out because they have done very badly in the recent European elections in the Republic, and pretty badly in the north.

"It is true that the planning for a no-deal Brexit must now be done."

However, he added: "No government has acted in accordance with the GFA regarding Brexit.

"There is nothing in the Agreement that decides there should be a referendum, even if no agreement is reached.

"A referendum should take place if there is evidence that it would work.

"Although the support of the unionists has fallen in recent years, there is no precise prediction when it would fall sufficiently to meet the GFA requirement."