Probably the most significant consequence of Northern Ireland’s wartime contribution was the fact that it now had the support of both major political parties, the new Labour government — traditionally sympathetic to Irish nationalism — no less than the outgoing Tory-dominated administration. Accordingly, as the London–Stormont relationship strengthened, reinforced as the cold war took off by the belief that Northern Ireland was essential to western national defence, the position of Irish nationalists on the Ulster question weakened. The security now enjoyed by unionists was to rule out any serious consideration of the constitutional question until after the outbreak of civil conflict in 1969.
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