Control and consent are intimately related. Where consent exists and is freely given, statements of control are unnecessary. The government is determined to deliver on Vote Leave’s promise to “take back control” – to assert sovereignty on behalf of leave voters. But the complicated consent structures of the UK’s most complicated corner, Northern Ireland, are once again getting in the way. On the evidence of the prime minister’s letter to Donald Tusk on Monday, the government is not minded to let that stop them. This perhaps should not come as a surprise. In one of his blogposts railing against Theresa May’s approach to Brexit negotiations, Dominic Cummings said the last administration had “aided and abetted bullshit invented by Irish nationalists and remain campaigners that the Belfast agreement prevents reasonable customs checks on trade between Northern Ireland and the Republic. It does no such thing.” The senior Brexit strategist … [Read more...] about Boris Johnson is playing politics with Northern Ireland’s ‘delicate balance’
Career change northern ireland
After three years of debate and negotiation there is little new under the sun when it comes to Brexit. But it is rumoured in Westminster, and hoped in Brussels, that Boris Johnson is to revert to a Northern Ireland-only backstop as he seeks to move past the Brexit impasse and avoid breaking his word and extending the UK’s membership beyond 31 October. What is an NI-only backstop? The British government’s version of Brexit involves the UK leaving the single market and customs union, requiring the return of a range of checks on goods crossing the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The “backstop” is intended as a placeholder to ensure such checks do not have to be imposed between the end of the stand-still transition period that is offered in the withdrawal agreement and the start of an all-solving future economic relationship. The backstop in the current withdrawal agreement would temporarily keep Northern Ireland in the single market, … [Read more...] about A Northern Ireland-only backstop: what is it and will anyone go for it?
1919 Lloyd George, the prime minister, outlines the government's proposals for home rule in Ireland. 1922 Partition. Six counties in the north of the island opt to stay in the United Kingdom when the rest of Ireland becomes independent and later a republic. Many of the inhabitants are descended from Protestant settlers brought in by James I in the 17th century, although there is still a large Catholic minority, just as there continues to be a significant Protestant minority in the Republic. 1968 The civil rights movement. Catholics complain of unfair treatment at the hands of a largely Protestant political establishment, saying among other things that electoral boundaries are gerrymandered to ensure Protestant majorities. On 5 October, a civil rights march is stopped by the RUC. Rioting follows and the province's government agrees to undertake reforms. 1969 The battle of the Bogside. A loyalist parade passing through the nationalist Bogside area of Derry on 12 August sparks two days … [Read more...] about Timeline: Northern Ireland
The Democratic Unionist party’s leader, Arlene Foster, has signalled it is ready to do a Brexit deal, indicating for the first time a willingness to accept a bespoke solution for Northern Ireland. She was speaking just hours before she held an “unplanned” meeting with the Irish taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, amid signs of a Brexit thaw between Belfast and Dublin. In a break with previous rhetoric where she has strongly opposed treating the region differently to the rest of the UK, Foster said the final deal would have to recognise Northern Ireland’s unique historical and geographical position and the fact it will be the UK’s only land border with the EU. Asked by reporters if it was possible to see Northern Ireland-only solutions that would not affect the constitutional link with Great Britain, she replied: “Well I hope so.” That, combined with other comments she made before a dinner with business executives in Dublin, will be seen as pushing the … [Read more...] about Arlene Foster signals DUP shift on Northern Ireland border issue
Sinn Féin has refused to nominate a new deputy first minister in Northern Ireland, triggering the collapse of the power-sharing government and fresh elections. Theresa May earlier held talks with the first minister, Arlene Foster, and Martin McGuinness, who resigned as deputy first minister last week, in a late effort to save the Stormont government, stressing that it had a role to play in Brexit negotiations. May’s spokeswoman said: “She spoke to both Arlene Foster and Martin McGuinness to encourage them to use what time was left today to try to find a resolution to the situation in Northern Ireland, outlining the importance of finding a way forward – particularly in the context of wanting to make sure that Northern Ireland has a voice in the UK’s exit from the European Union as we approach the critical period before triggering article 50.” A short time later, Foster said at Stormont: “Northern Ireland does not need an election, it needs stable … [Read more...] about Sinn Féin refusal to replace McGuinness set to trigger Northern Ireland elections