A TOP Cabinet minister refused to rule out a vote on Irish unification within a decade.
But quizzed on the eyebrow raising boast, Education Secretary Gillian Keegan said: “I don’t want to speculate on that.”
She added it was “fantastic” to see Stormont “back up and running”.
The comments came as a new report argued the UK is at risk from Irish scrimping on defence.
Two former Defence Secretaries warn Dublin to hike defence spending and stop relying on Britain and NATO on the cheap.
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Ireland spends just 0.5 per cent of its GDP on defence, with fears Russia and China could exploit this weakness.
Introducing the Policy Exchange report “Safeguarding the Union”, Tory Sir Michael Fallon KCB and Labour’s Lord Robertson said: “As Defence Secretaries in different governments at different times, we know that little attention was paid to the security of the island of Ireland in the immediate aftermath of the Cold War.
“Russian intelligence ships and warships have been identified off the Irish coast and close to key transatlantic cables.
“The growing Russian, Iranian and Chinese presence in the Republic poses a backdoor threat to the United Kingdom itself.”