According to the front page of Friday's Financial Times, European leaders are expected to recognise that if there is a vote for Irish unity, then the North will automatically rejoin to the EU.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has previously said that the final Brexit deal should include some reference to a united Ireland and it is expected that this will be acknowledged by other EU leaders at the summit this weekend.

Northern Ireland would have ease of access to join as a member of the European Union again

Speaking in February, Kenny sought for the language of the Good Friday Agreement to be contained in the final Brexit negotiations.

"The Good Friday Agreement has been referred to by the President (EU Commission President). Internationally binding, therefore since 1998, voted on by citizens north and south, internationally lodged in the UN.

"We want that to remain and in such a position that the language of what's contained in the Good Friday Agreement will also be contained in the negotiation outcome.

"In other words, that if at some future time, whenever that might be, if it were to occur, that Northern Ireland would have ease of access to join as a member of the European Union again and we want that language inserted into the negotiation outcome, whenever that might occur," he said.

Against any hard border

President of the EU Commission Jean-Claude Juncker has also expressed that he is against a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic and is keen to avoid any risk to the Good Friday Agreement.

"We want land borders being as open as possible because the Irish challenges in this very context are not only Irish challenges, they are European," he said.

It is understood that European leaders were informed about the proposal this week by the EU Commission president.

While Enda Kenny is not in favour of an immediate border poll, if secured at the Brexit talks, a passing of any future border poll would secure Northern Ireland access back into the EU.

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