argument top image

Should there be a united Ireland? Show more Show less
Back to question

The status of Northern Ireland has been the subject of intense debate and decades of violence known as the Troubles, which started in the 1960s. Though Northern Ireland has been at peace since the Good Friday Agreement in 1998, the question of whether Northern Island should remain in the United Kingdom or join the Republic of Ireland remains a source of contention. Should there be a united Ireland?

Yes, Ireland should be united Show more Show less

All 32 counties of Ireland should be united into a single nation with no land border
(1 of 4) Next position >

British rule in Ireland was never legitimate

Britain has no claim to any territory in Ireland as it claimed Northern Ireland by force and upheld its existence through undemocratic means
< (5 of 7) Next argument >


British governance in Ireland emerged through forcible conquest. Since then, Britain has treated Ireland like a colonial territory and maintained its grip on the territory through oppressive and undemocratic methods.

The Argument

When Northern Ireland was formed, it was a gerrymandered territory, designed to guarantee support for remaining in the UK despite opposition from many Irish leaders. It was then governed by protestants, for protestants, for most of its history. Because of this, British rule in Ireland remains as a lasting piece of imperialism, is illegitimate and should come to an end.

Counter arguments

British rule in Ireland is supported by the self-determination of the people of Northern Ireland, many of whom can trace their families in the area back to the 17th century when they arrived legally and settled on land that had been abandoned after the Flight of the Earls. Britain's initial occupation of Ireland may have come through force, but this was standard in the Middle Ages and many other uncontested territorial claims stem from similar invasions.


[P1] Britain's occupation of Ireland has always been illegal and illegitimate

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] British rule in Northern Ireland is supported by the people of Northern Ireland, making it democratic.



Not sure yet? Read more ↑


This page was last edited on Friday, 6 Dec 2019 at 15:20 UTC

Explore related arguments