A MAJORITY of those who voted in the UK’s EU referendum would be willing to see Northern Ireland depart the Union if it meant their preferred Brexit outcome played out.
That’s according to a new YouGov poll which also found an estimated four in 10 Britons would not be concerned if Northern Ireland left the UK.
A total of 1,641 adulted on mainland Britain were quizzed as part of the research, with 41% of those respondents stating they cared little or not at all about Northern Ireland.
Even those polled who stated they care a “great deal” about Northern Ireland, and want it to stay in the UK, said they would choose their Brexit preference over the British Union remaining intact.
“YouGov asked mainland Britons how much they care about Northern Ireland, how they’d feel if it left the Union and whether getting their own way on Brexit was more important than keeping the UK together,” a YouGov spokesperson said.
“New YouGov polling today exposes the weaknesses in the link between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.”
While 41% said they “would not be bothered” if Northern Ireland left the UK, a further 41% said they would be “upset” if it broke away.
Only a minority of 9% said they would be “actively pleased to see them go”.
While the referendum itself remains a divisive issue, both sides appeared agreed on the Northern Ireland according to the survey.
A majority of 58% of Remain voters and 64% of Leave voters said they would rather have their own way on Brexit than see the Union preserved.
“As with so much, however, Brexit takes precedent,” a YouGov spokesperson concluded.
“Given the choice between having their preferred outcome on Brexit and Northern Ireland staying in the Union, a majority of 58% chose the former and only 18% the latter.”
“Even those Britons who say they want Northern Ireland to stay part of the UK tend to be willing to sacrifice it for the sake of Brexit.
“Almost half (47%) chose their preferred Brexit option, compared to 35% who chose the Union.”