In the present wreck of empires, and under the extinction of all international law, no small state can hope to maintain its independence. Great Britain and Ireland, from their situation, their language, and their mutual necessities, seem naturally destined to support each other’s strength, and supply each other’s wants; and we are quite convinced, that nothing but extreme misgovernment can separate them. Heavy indeed, then, will be the responsibility of those men, under who administration, or by whose previous unconciliatory measures such a separation is effected — whether the immediate cause of it be foreign conquest, or internal commotion.
That is Thomas Robert Malthus, “On the State of Ireland (II), published in the Edinburgh Review in 1809. It made perfect sense back then — and today — and yet for entirely different and indeed almost opposite reasons.