Working towards Irish Unity




The UK today: A Union of Consent or Coercion?

Join us on 18th July for this important Irish Border Poll debate.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced plans for a referendum on Scottish Independence on October 19th 2023. A clear majority of MSPs support the IndyRef. If Boris Johnson blocks the poll – is the UK a Union of consent or coercion? This debate aims to find out.

In recent elections to the Northern Ireland Assembly just 5,123 votes separated Pro-Union from Pro-United Ireland parties, with Sinn Fein becoming the largest party. Yet the British government continually refuse calls to clarify precise criteria required to trigger a Border Poll. Amid growing frustration Tanaiste Leo Varadkar`s appeal for more openness were also rejected. Is it fair to judge the British government refusal as anti-democratic?

While Boris Johnson invokes the virtue of democracy and sovereignty abroad, in this discussion we explore whether the UK is veering towards anti-democracy at home by continuing to deny people in the North of Ireland and Scotland the right to decide their own future. There are arguments for and against an Independent Scotland and a United Ireland which will no doubt emerge in this debate. But the central question is this: Who has the right to decide when the Union is over? The people of Scotland and the north of Ireland – or the Westminster government? If either group wishes to break away and London tries to delay the process are we right to conclude the notion of a voluntary Union is a myth? A Union of Consent or Coercion? Come join the conversation.


Martin Docherty-Hughes, SNP, MP for West Dunbartonshire

Michelle Gildernew, Sinn Fein, MP for Fermanagh and South Tyrone

Kevin Meagher, author of A United Ireland – Why Unification is Inevitable And How It Will Come About

7pm Monday July 18th
Margaret Thatcher Room in Portcullis House, House of Commons, London
Westminster Tube, public entrance to Portcullis House, Victoria Embankment

* Please allow at least 15 minutes to pass through the House of Commons security. *

Register to attend on Eventbrite.