Perhaps people here who are Scottish or Welsh have grown up feeling the same, but being from NI, it’s certainly always been clear to me that the place has been an embarrassment and annoyance to successive UK national governments. It’s impossible to avoid the feeling of being second-class citizens when travelling on ‘the mainland’ – or when ordering goods online that are supposedly delivered ‘anywhere in the UK’ (Shetland et al.) only to find that that means ‘except NI’. National newspaper deals too – ‘free Sherlock Holmes books with this voucher (except in NI)’ etc. Oh, and we have a load of local banks that are somehow allowed to issue their own bespoke “sterling” notes… except that nobody ‘on the mainland’ accepts the bloody things. It might as well be toy money.
In short, I have for my entire lifetime been embarrassed by Northern Ireland and felt second-class when among people in England/Scotland – embarrassed because its most prominent public figures are a shower of bigots or terrorist apologists (DUP & Sinn Fein), because its biggest claim to fame is a boat that didn’t work (Titanic) and that now, unfathomably, drives tourism here, and because its currency is useless elsewhere in the UK – try and present a Bank of Ireland / Ulster Bank / Northern Bank note at a business (even try to change it at a bank) in England and you will be looked at like you’re a con man.
Most people in GB, I’m sure, don’t want NI and don’t understand why it’s still there – or why it was ever there in the first place. Weirdly, it’s probably ‘still there’ because of an entrenched, loud minority in local politics who, bafflingly, REALLY REALLY REALLY want to keep belonging to the club in which every other member wishes they’d just quietly go away.
But for the first time ever, post Brexit – aside from having been able to say that you’re Irish when travelling in Europe (because it seems broadly true that French, Spanish, etc. people don’t like the English) – it looks like there are advantages to being born / living in NI, for businesses and individuals. How about that?