3/22/2005

Unity for all

Carrying on from the debate on Slugger about the SDLP's proposals for a United Ireland. I would like to outline some of my own views on what a 32 county state should look like. I realise the need for unionism to be reassured of their status within a United Ireland and with this in mind I would advocate the following measures;

- over representation for the 6 counties in the 32 county Dáil so as to reassure Unionism that their views will be properly represented.

- respecting the right of those who wish to keep their British identity by allowing retention of a British identity, symbolised by a right for all on the Island to a British passport.

- retention of all equality leglislation negotiated by the GFA and possibly the apointment of a "Unionist Ombudsman" to ensure Unionists feel their rights are being respected.

- the retention of the 12th July as a public holiday

- re-affirmation of the guarantee of civil and relgious liberty for all.

However, I also believe that nationalists alone cannot define the safeguards which unionism would like to have put in place. Unfortunately, the catch 22 of this position is that those of us arguing for a United Ireland cannot find out what Unionists would expect in a 32 county state since the vast majority are not willing to enter the debate.

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