Majority of English people would be 'pleased' or 'not bothered' if Northern Ireland left UK, poll reveals
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Majority of English people would be 'pleased' or 'not bothered' if Northern Ireland left UK, poll reveals

A NEW poll has indicated that a majority of people in the UK are in favour of referendums to decide the future of the union.

A referendum on Scottish Independence and a border poll with the potential to unite Northern Ireland and the Republic could be on the cards in the coming years, after a new poll commissioned by The Sunday Times found the UK to be facing a "constitutional crisis".

The survey, carried out by LucidTalk, found that 51% of the 2,392 people surveyed in Northern Ireland are in favour of carrying out a border poll in the next five years, with 48% of people thinking there will be a united Ireland in the next decade compared to 44% thinking there will not.

However, the poll also found that 47% of those surveyed wished to remain in the United Kingdom compared to 42% being in favour of a united Ireland and 11% undecided, meaning should a border poll be called, it may not have the result nationalists would hope for.

The poll also surveyed people in England as to how they would feel to lose Northern Ireland should it vote to rejoin Ireland-- and an overwhelming majority replied that they would be either 'pleased' or 'not bothered'.

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20% of those surveyed in England said they would be 'pleased' with a United Ireland, while a further 37% said they are 'not bothered' by the idea; just 31% indicated that they would be upset if Northern Ireland left the union.

In Northern Ireland, 47% would be 'pleased' with reunification, 47% would be 'upset' and a further 4% said they would not be bothered; 42% of those surveyed in Scotland would not be bothered if Ireland reunified, 20% would be pleased and 31% would be upset.

As for Scotland, the majority of voters across the four nations of the UK believe it will become an independent country within the next decade: in Scotland, 49% supported independence compared to 44% against and 7% undecided.

50% of those surveyed in Scotland want to see a referendum for independence in the next five years, compared to 43% against and 7% undecided.

The poll comes after former British Chancellor George Osborne said last week that he suspects the majority of people in England and abroad 'would not care' if Northern Ireland left the United Kingdom and joined with the Republic to make a United Ireland.

"By remaining in the EU single market," Mr Osborne wrote in The Evening Standard, "it is for all economic intents and purposes now slowly becoming part of a united Ireland. Its prosperity now depends on its relationship with Dublin (and Brussels), not London. The politics will follow. "

The former Chancellor went on to lament the potential loss of Scotland, with all recent polls indicating a support for Independence, and said "its departure ... would represent the end of the United Kingdom".

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Stating there were only two ways to keep Scotland in the UK, Mr Osborne urged Boris Johnson to either "win more Scots over to the virtues of the Union" or to simply "refuse to hold a referendum".

While the SNP will be angry, and Scotland may choose to hold a referendum despite an agreement from Westminster, "that won't be legal", Mr Osborne said.

He added: "Ask the jailed Catalonian leaders how their illegal poll worked out".

The Scottish National Party (SNP) led by Nicola Sturgeon have now revealed that they plan to hold a "legal referendum" on Scottish Independence should there be a pro-independence majority following elections in May.

Ms Sturgeon said the advisory referendum will take place whether or not Westminster consents.