When you travel in the Republic of Ireland you will often be hard-pressed to tell the difference to Scotland, let alone to Northern Ireland. The nature is very similar, the architecture too, and the friendliness and sociability certainly as well. The Gaelic heritage shows. You are much more likely to be able to tell an Irish face from an English one, than an Irish face from a Scottish. Remarkably, 700 years after Edward, Hammer of the Scots, and more than 250 years after Culloden, Scotland still seems to have more in common with those on the Emerald Isle than with the English.
The English wishing to leave the EU has left the constitutional structure of the UK in limbo. Brexit has fuelled a desire for independence in Scotland, and Scotland clearly wants to remain in the EU if at all possible.
Tongue-in-cheek one can perhaps suggest that the dreams of Scotland are perfectly possible, particularly if one shows a bit of constitutional creativity, and looks at the pieces on the chessboard of the British Isles without assuming that England must always be the centrepiece. On the British Isles the Republic of Ireland is currently the odd man out, no part of the United Kingdom. Now that England has invoked its uniqueness, perhaps it is time for England to leave the unity and allow Ireland to enter instead. A federal republic of Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland would actually be entirely sensible. Similar culture, similar nature, many similarities in terms of economy and economic outlook.
A Federal Gaelic Republic would potentially also resolve the Northern Irish question in a sustainable fashion. Northern Ireland has, of course, always been riven by the Catholic/Protestant issue. With Scotland solidly Protestant, but with Catholic history and Catholic minorities, a Federal Gaelic Republic could provide a balance between the two religions, with the Republic of Ireland overwhelmingly Catholic, Scotland overwhelmingly Protestant, and Northern Ireland in between. Of course, this does not resolve entirely the ‘loyalist’ concern, the loyalists being loyal ultimately to England. But frankly that loyalty cannot play out as it used to if Scotland gains independence. A Federal Gaelic Republic would resolve many of the most difficult issues for Northern Ireland arising from Brexit. It would resolve the hard border issue with the Republic of Ireland (and Scotland), it would resolve many economic concerns, many cultural concerns.
We live in radical times, yet a Federal Gaelic Republic may still be too radical. But it would make perfect sense!