A lot of pro-Brexit politicians are outraged by the fact that the Northern Ireland protocol has imposed an economic border “in the middle of our country”.

Most British people on the other hand, including most Brexit voters, regard Northern Ireland as a foreign country, even though it is legally part of the UK, and couldn’t care less about an economic border in the Irish Sea.

But what do the Tory party members who are about to choose the next Prime Minister think? Do they have more in common with the hard-line pro-Brexit politicians or do they have more in common with the ordinary Brexit voters?

  • Is it the protocol or the fact that Ireland is still part of the EU and that the UK is no longer part of it. From what I understand that protocol has nothing to do with the economic border but the fact that the UK left the EU which required the border.
    – Joe W
    Jul 23, 2022 at 17:11
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    "Most British people on the other hand, including most Brexit voters, regard Northern Ireland as a foreign country" - as a Brit, I'd very much like a citation on this.
    – F1Krazy
    Jul 23, 2022 at 17:49
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    Well, if you want data, the nearest I can find is this, which suggests 31% of English people would be upset if Northern Ireland left the UK: mobile.twitter.com/timespolitics/status/1353044013776035840. However, I think the fact that I am British and have spent my life in Britain counts for something. It is my overwhelming impression that British people do not really regard Northern Ireland Unionists as their fellow citizens. Maybe you are an exception. There is a lot of ignorance and, I think, a tendency to regard everyone who lives on the island of Ireland as basically Irish.
    – Edward H
    Jul 23, 2022 at 18:20
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    I don't have any polling data or statements so this is just my opinion and hence a comment. The majority of English people (where the vast majority of the Conservative vote comes from) don't really care about Northern Ireland. However the people currently running the Conservative party got their due to their pro-Brexit, anti-EU stance and they largely depend on keeping that going and the NI protocol is one way of doing that. You just have to read any of Liz Truss' statements on the subject. This is why tearing up an agreement which the majority of people in NI support is a central issue.
    – Eric Nolan
    Jul 25, 2022 at 10:23
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    @Trilarion: the anti-EU lobby in Parliament is called (ahem) the "European Research Group". Apparently they are the main proponents of scrapping the NI protocol as a way to "complete" Brexit. Jul 28, 2022 at 2:35


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