I'm not that well up on the economic arguments either and I've read the other posts on here with interest. I would be very close to Castle Ray in his opinion of Thatcher who to me was an absolute necessity because of crackpot left wing governance which allowed trade unions to destroy the UK economy but CR made one point that is really important. In response to Glaucons post above he mentions the fact that there are always peripheral areas in all countries which are less well developed and are supported by the rich parts. One must take the country as a whole-all true. But Glaucons point of course is that the whole of NI will always be peripheral in the UK while as part of a UI there is every possibility that large areas of it will be part of the core just as it was before partition. I think that this sort of thing is feeding Scottish unease with the union too. If I was Scottish I would be a Unionist but I would not like the fact that my countries economy was based in England. I believe that an all-island economy is definitely the way forward here but as has already been pointed out a political UI will not be essential for this. But it may well be a help in the long run. Btw those closed business premises are very much a common sight here in the south too-but not in Dublin it has to be said or indeed in the other bigger centres.