2019 and 2020 books are in the
Odds and Ends
Picking and choosing
27 9, 4:38pm
Possibly although since such a vote is unlikely to occur before Britain left the EU so technically they would be becoming an independent state that would have to apply for membership. Given the Protestant majority and mistrust of Dublin hardened by decades of IRA terrorism joining the Irish republic could be a step too far for much of the population. True Ireland has liberalised a lot in recent decades but there are a lot of old fears and bigotry that dies hard. Plus Ireland has liberalised a lot and Ulster is still very conservative so that could be a factor.
Its always been the case that Ulster/N Ireland is in the UK because it wants to be and it can leave, and also join the Irish republic if it wishes. Probably the biggest single barrier, even more than the power of the Catholic church south of the border in earlier eras is the savagely of the IRA and similar groups. Not ignoring that especially in the early years of the troubles the unionists had their own terrorist groups and the Catholic minority had a case for reform.
Plus this would also mean that the EU would have to at the very least bend its rules dramatically and it hasn't been willing to do so to protect Ireland from the ending of the GFA - which is the single largest cause of the current impasse. They might do as they have frequently bent their rules when it suits them in the past but the people of N Ireland would have to think carefully before relying on them doing that.
Scotland, not a chance. While Norway ruled large parts of what's now Scotland in past centuries Scotland was never ruled in total by any Scandinavian group. Also given how much emphasis the SNP has put on independent claiming effectively a colonial union with part of Scandinavia would be too great a U turn even for them.
Also as I say both regions get a lot out of the current union in terms of resources, parliamentary representation and the like. To go from that to being very small fish in a very large EU that is centred very much around the Paris-Berlin alliance is a big ask.