On Thursday a clear majority of the voters in Northern Ireland taking a differing view from the overall outcome of the referendum on remaining within the EU.
Yet within 24 hours of the settled situation of both sides of the border being within the EU which the majority here supported and without and further polling the Secretary of State has said that the “majority of people in Northern Ireland are content with the political settlement established under the Belfast Agreement and Northern Ireland’s place within the United Kingdom.”
Firstly the Belfast Agreement is heavily reliant on the European Union and its institutions and the United Kingdom at the time of establishing that agreement didn’t look like succeeding from the same European Union it joined on the same date as the rest of this island.
Many who had previously supported the settled situation from both nationalist and unionist points of view did so under differing political and economic situations, the vote on Thursday has shattered those conditions and people are reviewing their opinion.
There are a number people here who have also considered ourselves small u “unionists”. Many call themselves economic unionists from the time when Ms Villiers party were last in outright power and neglected spending on jobs and infrastructure in Northern Ireland, much of that short fall was later made up for by EU Peace Funding monies.
Others of us would define ourselves liberal unionists and for a great time have considered that we wanted to be part of a nation that was more liberal, but with the church losing control of more liberalising and secularising Ireland that is no longer a barrier.
Others still have always looked for what is the most stable solution.
I do not feel that Ms Villiers can state categorically that how people would have voted for on a border poll on Wednesday are the same as they would vote today. On Wednesday, I personally would have voted to remain part of the UK, today I would vote to reunify the island of my forebears for economic, liberal and stability reasons.
Stephen Glenn, Chair Northern Ireland Liberal Democrats, Bangor