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Should there be a united Ireland? Show more Show less

The status of Northern Ireland has been the subject of intense debate and decades of violence, known as the Troubles. Though Northern Ireland is now at peace, the question of whether it should remain in the United Kingdom or join the Republic of Ireland remains a source of contention. Should there be a united Ireland?
Northern Ireland's status, as one of four constituent countries of the United Kingdom, should remain the same
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Northern Ireland would be too expensive for the south to administer

Northern Ireland is a very costly region to govern and a small country like the Republic of Ireland could not do so

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Context

Northern Ireland is extremely expensive to administer. It costs the UK £9.2bn every year to keep governing it thanks to a large public sector, high benefit payments, very high policing costs and an economy that does not return as much in taxes as the rest of the UK.

The Argument

As a large country and economy, the UK is able to afford to maintain services in Northern Ireland. The Republic of Ireland’s economy, on the other hand, is too small to do so. If the Republic of Ireland were to spend £9.2bn every year on Northern Ireland, this would mean those in the Republic would pay around £2,000 per person per year, a cost that could be crippling, especially as Ireland is still recovering from the adverse effects of the 2007-09 global financial crisis. Irish people would have to pay even more when transitional costs are accounted for.

Counter arguments

The people of the Republic of Ireland repeatedly been told of the financial cost of a united Ireland, but still support it, showing that those affected by the cost do not believe it is an important enough reason to prevent Irish unification from happening. Ireland’s economy, though not as strong as it was during the “Celtic Tiger” years, is very strong, thanks to the presence of many large American tech companies in Ireland. Because of this, Ireland has a high GDP and the eighth-highest average wage in the world, meaning the country could afford to pay for unification. In addition, a very large amount of the cost of a united Ireland would be offset by the streamlining of public services. Currently, administering two separate states on the island of Ireland creates a great deal of financial waste. This would make a united Ireland far more affordable than the headline figures may suggest.

Premises

[P1] Northern Ireland costs a great deal of money to govern [P2] A small country like Ireland cannot afford this [P3] Therefore, a United Ireland should not occur

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] The costs of a United Ireland would be lower after streamlined public sector costs [Rejecting P2] Ireland can afford the costs of a United Ireland

References

Content references here ...

Proponents

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This page was last edited on Friday, 6 Dec 2019 at 15:50 UTC