The United Ireland v United Kingdom debate is one that doesn’t frankly keep me awake at night. The election of Naomi Long to Europe and the growth of a third way in how we might ‘do’ our politics means I’m far from alone.

It is instead the lack of good governance and proper leadership, the impending disaster that Brexit will bring to our community in Fermanagh and issues such as job creation, good schools, quality hospitals and the impact of climate change that are perhaps matters of more pressing concern.

Whether or not our best interests lie in remaining within the United Kingdom or in opting to map out a plan for Irish unity misses one central point.

The Good Friday Agreement recognises that Northern Ireland is a unique place, where any set of arrangements can only endure when our structures of government reflect the diversity of our different political outlooks and identities.

That means power residing in a devolved set up underpinned by grown up politics and responsible decision making at local level.

The current voting patterns and changing demographics of our place is more fluid than ever before.

There is therefore an even greater onus on all those pursuing a particular constitutional outcome to seek to move beyond their own narrow base to persuade those of a different political outlook of the merits of their proposals.

Our history shows us that Nationalists and others were not persuaded by a system of government marked by discrimination and a failure to recognise their sense of Irishness. Why would they be? Similarly, the ‘Brits Out’ mantra and the futility of a campaign of violence seeking a United Ireland was an utter failure and persuaded no Unionist or others of the desirability of Irish unity. And who could blame them?

My 20 year Portora school reunion took place in May 2018.

A number of those present were discreetly discussing what was almost unthinkable from a unionist perspective. What would a United Ireland look like? How would the rights of British people in Ireland be protected? Would those from a Protestant, Unionist background ultimately have more influence in a United Ireland than in a United Kingdom? Who knows?

In America, it is said that elections were determined by the phrase ‘it’s the economy, stupid’.

A hard Brexit, no deal scenario undoubtedly threatens the future of the United Kingdom and the rights and interests of all.

Will the headlines of a future Border poll record that a vote in favour of Irish unity arose because ‘it was Brexit, stupid’?

Time will tell.