I've no argument whatsoever at John taking part in the event, but two of his opinions expressed (presuming that the Ogs are reporting them accurately) were out of the ordinary even for a Unionist on the more liberal end of the scale:
When the UUP’s John was asked whether he would support a United Ireland if there was a majority consensus for it, he amusingly replied,If such a "United" Ireland was voted for by the majority within Northern Ireland, then as a democrat I'd accept the will of the majority; I'm sure however, I would not only "not like it very much" but also would never support it!
“Yes, I suppose I would have to if it was fair and equal to all.... but I probably wouldn’t like it very much."
That one was perhaps more a case of me playing the "pedantry" card, this point was much more surprising for me:
John agreed that he would like to see an all Ireland health service and wanted a fair and just system for all sections of society; however he was adamant that he did not want to lose the North’s place within the ‘UK’.
I've no idea if informal cooperative health arrangements already exist in the border counties of NI and ROI- if they do, then I can see the local advantage but on the wider scale? Pooling research also makes sense but I'm sure that takes place anyway.
But considering the problems that the Devolution Experiment has caused cross-border (but still intra-national) medical care in England/Wales and England/Scotland, it's clear just the administrative side of operating one medical system across two EU states would be a bureaucratic nightmare. And more importantly, would patients in Ballymena (or Cork) get a higher level of treatment at the same or cheaper cost to the respective taxpayers merely because we were in an-island system? I suspect not.