Half of citizens think UK might not exist in decade

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An Ipsos MORI poll has found that half of the citizens of the United Kingdom believe that the UK might not exist in its current form in a decade’s time.

The 52-48 percent vote in 2016 to leave the European Union has strained the bonds that tie England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland into the UK: Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to stay while England and Wales voted to leave.

As the UK heads towards its latest Brexit deadline of January 31, there are growing demands for an independence referendum in Scotland and for a vote on Northern Ireland unifying with the Republic of Ireland.

Scots rejected independence by 55 to 45 percent in 2014.

The Ipsos MORI poll showed that 50 percent thought the UK would not exist in 10 years – up from 43 percent in 2014. Just 29 percent said it would exist in its current form in a decade – down from 45 percent in 2014.

In the shorter term, the fate of the union – which traces its history back to the 1707 Treaty of Union – was also uncertain: 42 percent said the UK would exist in five years’ time and 44 percent said it would not.

“The British public are now much more divided in their expectations of the Union’s future than they were in 2014, when the Union’s future was under intense debate with Scotland just three months away from an independence referendum,” said Emily Gray, managing director of Ipsos MORI Scotland.

“With independence a key faultline in Scotland’s election debate, the findings will be concerning for those who want Scotland to remain in the Union, while those campaigning for an independent Scotland will hope that this is a continuing trend.”

Ipsos MORI interviewed a sample of 1,001 adults aged 18 and over across Britain on October 25-28.

SOURCE: Reuters news agency

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/11/uk-citizens-uk-exist-decade-191108120603967.html

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