John Walsh: Why we must avoid a border poll becoming Ireland’s Brexit

It is time the government started looking at what a united Ireland might entail, no matter how provocative that might be for unionists, because a vote for unity without adequate preparation could have serious consequences

Sinn Féin activists call for a border poll at Stormont: other steps should be looked at before a referendum on a united Ireland is held. Picture: Getty

It was unsurprising that the government’s National Risk Assessment was released in December with little fanfare. Over the past few years, the news cycle has been dominated by the pandemic, the effects of climate change, cyber-attacks, the shortage of housing and the health crisis. The government doesn’t need a report to tell people what they already know.

But there was an interesting omission in the assessment, which covers last year and this year. There was ...