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Referendum

A referendum every seven years in Northern Ireland?

By Derek Coombs   August 1999

Power-sharing in Northern Ireland seems to have proved illusory; it can only be achieved over time when trust between the communities has become more ingrained in everyday life. But we cannot close the door because one peace treaty has faltered. Too many lives are at stake.

We need a new approach which can answer both the unionist fear that the British will push the province into a united Ireland against the majority’s will, and yet at the same time hold out hope to the nationalists. How can this be done? Britain should guarantee a referendum every seven years in…

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