Stop Brexit if it means hard border, survey finds

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The majority of people on the island of Ireland believe the UK should not proceed with Brexit if it results in a hard border being implemented there, a new survey has found.

More than six in ten respondents in Northern Ireland said if a deal was reached between the UK and the EU that included a hard border, the UK should not go ahead with Brexit.

In the Republic of Ireland, more than eight in ten people wanted to see a halt to Brexit in such circumstances.

The survey, jointly commissioned by RTE and BBC Northern Ireland, also revealed that 62% of those living in Northern Ireland believed a united Ireland was more likely because of Brexit.

In the Republic that figure was 35%.

As Brexit talks reach the end-game, RTE and BBC Northern Ireland teamed up for a special live Brexit programme on Monday night.

Attitudes about Brexit and its effect on people on both sides of the border were explored.

RTE’s Claire Byrne and the BBC’s Stephen Nolan swapped studios, with Ms Byrne broadcasting from BBC Northern Ireland in Belfast and Mr Nolan going live from RTE studios in Dublin, both in front of live audiences.

In Belfast, Fine Gael Senator Neale Richmond, journalist Susan McKay and Ben Lowry of the Belfast News Letter joined Ms Byrne, while in Dublin, Mr Nolan was joined by the leader of Traditional Unionist Voice Jim Allister, Sinn Fein’s David Cullinane, Alliance Party leader Naomi Long and Conservative MP Chris Chope.

Asked how they believed Brexit would affect their own financial situation, in Northern Ireland 55% said they thought they would end up worse off, while 9% said they thought they would be better off.

Almost 30% said it would make no difference.

In the Republic, 34% of respondents believed they would be worse off, with 2% believing they would be better off.

Almost half of respondents said it would make no difference.

The poll was carried out by Amarach Research in the Republic and LucidTalk in Northern Ireland. More than 2,000 people were interviewed across the island last week.

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