People in Britain would be more upset to see Gibraltar or the Falkland Islands leave the UK than they would if Northern Ireland did, according to a new YouGov poll published in British media.
The poll asked people “How would mainland Britons feel if [x] left the UK?”
The five regions given were Wales, Scotland, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar and Northern Ireland. Gibraltar and the Falklands are both overseas territories of the UK.
Participants were asked to select a response from three options: upset, not bothered or pleased. Of the five regions, Wales and Scotland received the most ‘upset’ responses with 46% and 43% respectively.
The Falklands and Gibraltar came 4th and 5th with 35% and 33%, while Northern Ireland’s exit would cause the least concern with just 32% selecting ‘upset.’
43% of respondents said they aren’t bothered and 15% would be pleased if Northern Ireland were to leave the union.
Interestingly, that was not the highest share of ‘pleased’ votes as Scotland received 16% in that category, although since the survey was carried out among mainland Britons, Scottish independence voters likely account for this high percentage.
Of the five regions, Gibraltar got the highest number of ‘not bothered’ votes with 48% while Falklands came a close second with 48%.
The poll was undertaken given the recent 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, and the idea was to see if mainland Britons wanted Northern Ireland remain in the UK or leave, and if this occurred how upset would they be. Similarly, Northern Ireland is not the only trouble spot, Scotland's government is controlled by that nation's independence party, and Wales likewise has a sizeable separatist movement.
More specifically in the Falklands question, one in three (34%) say they should remain British, while 9% would rather it went to Argentina. On the two-way question, most Britons (52%) say the Falklands should stay as a British overseas territory, while only 16% think they should go to Argentina.