Letter: Ulster ultimatum

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Sir: For too long now, the politicians of the United Kingdom have been distracted by events in Northern Ireland.

It is clear that a number of factors have come together at the moment to make the Irish Republic a "tiger" in European economic terms, which should benefit the whole of Ireland.

Therefore, I wonder whether the time has come for the "mainlanders" to say to those across the Irish Sea: "If you do not seize this chance for gradual change negotiated between the legitimate governments of different parts of the British Isles then we want the right to determine your future." This could be achieved by a referendum in the United Kingdom to determine whether Northern Ireland remained in membership.

Professor RAOUL FRANKLIN

Vice-Chancellor

City University

London EC1

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