Lots of posters seem to want a Green Paper for a United Ireland - so here's mine:
My Green Paper for a United Ireland
1. A united Ireland will happen by the 6 counties being incorporated into the Republic, similar to the way East Germany was incorporated into the existing West Germany.
[There will be no grandiose new Republic declared - simply a continuation of the existing state]
2. The Dáil will be increased in size proportionally to allow for the increase in population of the state.
[ Based on an existing Dáíl of 158 seats this would result in a new Dáil of approx 221 seats.]
3. The Northern Ireland Assembly at Stormont will be abolished.
[ There are a couple of reasons for this:
a) the population of the 6 counties is too large relative to that of the country as a whole for it to be administered separately. A system where 6-county TDs are voting on issues affecting Munster, Leinster and Connacht but where Munster, Leinster and Connacht TDs cannot vote on issues affecting the 6 counties is simply undemocratic. This problem ("the West Lothian problem" as it is known in the UK) does not arise at present because NI is just 3% of the UK population.
b) in theory, you could have a federal system of government in Ireland, with provincial assemblies for Leinster, Munster and Connacht having the same powers as the Stormont Assembly currently has. In practice, there is no demand for provincial or regional assemblies in Ireland (similar to the situation in England). There is no point in creating unwanted regional assemblies in Dublin, Cork and Galway - it would be another unwanted layer of bureaucracy]
4. A committee of all TDs elected in the 6 counties will be formed to consider any issues of equality, etc. that might previously have been dealt with by the Assembly
[ I am not sure what powers this committee should actually have - possibly a majority of either unionists or nationalists to have the power to force the Dáíl to reconsider legislation/decisions that affect inter-community relations in the North.
Another consequence of this is that Dáil constituency boundaries will not cross the 6-county border ]
5. The PSNI will continue as a separate police force responsible to the government in the same way as the Garda Siochána.
[ This is probably necessary until the legal systems are synchronized ]
6. Legal - the legal system North and South will gradually be brought into line.
[ This will not be an overnight process - it might take many years ]
7. Education - the 6 county education system will continue unchanged. Irish will not be compulsory in the 6 counties.
[ Over time, a new national curriculum will be developed for North and South - this will be a long-term project ]
8. Health - the health system will be merged as quickly as possible, starting immediately.
[ There is no reason for there to be 2 separate administrations ]
9. Social Welfare - the Northern Social Welfare system will be gradually transformed into the Southern one.
[ There will be a transition period to ensure that there are no shocks for those involved ]
10. Military - the Irish Army will take over British Army bases in the North.
11. Flags/Anthems. The Tricolour to continue as the national flag. A new national anthem to be chosen. The Irish language version to be used at state events in the 26 counties and the English language version to be used at state events in the 6 counties.
[ To be honest I am not sure about this point ]
To be honest, I do not expect to see a united Ireland in my lifetime. Just looking at it from a regional perspective, a united Ireland means a huge diminution in the status of Belfast which would lose its "capital" status and be a city just like Cork. Perhaps having the Dáil sit in alternate years in Dublin and Belfast could be looked at. The economics of a United Ireland will be a huge issue - but it is so far away that it isn't really possible to consider this today.