Sinn Fein have announced that they are launching an Irish Unity Task Force (An unfortunate phrase, I thought, but there you go.) headed up by Pearse Doherty and Conor Murphy here. I think that this should be welcomed, but I have serious doubts as to whether SF will really want to discuss the actual mechanics of a United Ireland as opposed to the romantic reasons for it. Off the top of my head, a number of questions SF should answer:
1. The role of the DUP in the south. Will unionists have guaranteed seats in the cabinet?
2. The role of the British Monarch. Will this be recognised in a post-unity constitution?
3. Will the northern assembly have a guaranteed share of the republic’s tax revenue regardless of its tax contribution?
4. Will the Garda and PSNI be merged, and if so will PSNI forces be allowed operate in the south?
5. Will the British honours system be recognised?
6. Will there be a new flag?
7. Will the British Army be able to maintain recruiting offices in the north?
8. Will the new parliament be run along power sharing lines as in the north?
9. Will Ulster-Scots be given equal status with Irish?
10. Will the Royal Irish Regiment be merged with the PDF?
11. Will the re-united state be a member of the Commonwealth?
12. Will Northern Ireland’s EU payments and quotas be deducted from our national entitlements?
In fairness to Sinn Fein, if they are willing to get into a detailed debate, warts and all, then that is to be applauded. I remain cynical, but then that’s just me.