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I'll try to bullet point it the various strands I see but I'm quite sure that Frank or Colman would conjure an entrely different list.
The conervative party have a considerable investment in Ulster remaining as an integral part of the United Kingdom. To them, letting it become even semi-detached woould be akin to losing an arm voluntarily.
The majority population of Ulster wish to remain as an integral part of the UK. We can discuss colonial politics as much as you like but those guys are Irish and staying there.
Due to the long standing air and ship building establishments in Ulster (now shut down) there have been strong links between par-military units in Ulster and the security services to protect Ulster's status wthin the UK. This is a very powerful voice to preserve the status quo within Westminster that cannot be ignored.
These same people are utterly opposed to any concept of becoming part of the Republic. The DUP's hatred of the EU is founded in part on the view that membership of the EU would gradually eradicate the difference between Ulster and the Republic.
Many in the Republic are very happy with their country and its independence from the UK. They would be generally hostile to the idea that Ulster Protestants unwillingly brouht into the Republic and generally acting more as agent's of the UK undermining the Republic rather than as fully committed Irish people working towards a better Europe.
Most of these are emotional and blood links of dependency and trust, and of emnity and distrust that are generations deep. Logic, law and political convenience mean nothing in this context.
keep to the Fen Causeway
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