Ireland's (sic) endorsement of Lisbon also underlines again the reality of partition on the island. By voting "Yes" the Republic draws ever closer to the EU and the eurozone economy. With a Conservative victory extremely likely in the next general election, Northern Ireland is set to remain in the sterling zone and thus disconnected from any future all-Ireland currency.
A “No” vote would have meant what then, a closer step to a “United” Ireland? A Republic set adrift from the Eurozone (and possibly even the EU itself, if the cowardly threats from the Eurocrats are to be believed) would have become more of an attractive social and economic prospect for the majority of voters in Northern Ireland?
Henry McDonald normally is one of the more astute observers of the political scene in N.Ireland but he’s misjudged the Sinn Fein effect here on two levels.
Firstly, the Republic’s electorate didn’t vote "no" to Lisbon originally simply because the Shinners told them to do so, the converse is obviously true after Saturday’s count. And secondly, unless something very dramatic (which I don’t rule out 100% obviously having read “Poverty of Historicism” ;)) happens it will never be the present set of tribal Sinn Fein communalists anyway who will be capable of delivering a majority of the population either side of the border for a “United” Ireland.
So, on Friday the voters may well have delivered a dramatic blow to Gerry & Co's collective ego, but their "dream of a United Ireland"? Sinn Fein doesn't need anybody else's help to shatter that.