Questions tagged [northern-ireland]

Questions related to government or politics of Northern Ireland, a country within the United Kingdom situated on the island of Ireland. Use with the [united-kingdom] tag as needed

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Could the same person be First Minister in Northern Ireland and Taoiseach in the Republic of Ireland?

In the 2022 Northern Ireland Assembly election, Sinn Féin increased their vote share from 27.9% to 29.0% and became (for the first time) the largest party, amidst a split in the unionist vote between ...
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2 votes
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Is there any plausible reading of the DoT terms of the Northern Ireland Protocol under which they are not self-defeating?

Under the Protocol the UK government is responsible for applying checks on goods entering NI from the rest of the UK to ensure that goods destined for the Republic of Ireland meet EU regulations. This ...
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How many busses were torched in Northern Ireland as part of the Unionists' campaign against the Northern-Ireland Protocol?

Apparently there's a campaign on the ground to torch busses in Northern Ireland. Seemingly it's organized by Unionists, whom want to scrap the Northern Ireland Protocol. How many busses are involved ...
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Why did UK and EU agree NI Protocol with clause allowing unilateral action in the event of diversion of trade (DOT) when they knew DOT was inevitable?

Under the Protocol the UK government is responsible for applying checks on goods entering NI from the rest of the UK to ensure that goods destined for the Republic of Ireland meet EU regulations. This ...
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If the UK invokes Art 16 of the Northern Ireland Protocol, will the EU require a hard border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland [closed]

Under the Protocol the UK government is responsible for applying checks on goods entering NI from Great Britain to ensure that goods destined for the Republic of Ireland meet EU regulations. This is ...
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When Sir Jeffrey Donaldson campaigned to leave the EU, how exactly did he think the matter of the border would be resolved?

Donaldson complains bitterly that the Unionists in Northern Ireland have been let down by the Johnson government. That may well be the case - and it undoubtedly appears that there has been double ...
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What is the opinion of Irish nationalists on COVID-related border checks?

In Why is having border controls in Ireland so problematic for Irish nationalists? and What is the evidence that customs checks in Northern Ireland are going to result in violence? it was explained ...
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In what specific way has the the EU "turned [its] rules upside down and inside out" on medicines in Northern Ireland?

In response to UK government accusations that the EU has been inflexible on medicines under the Northern Ireland protocol (see e.g. Boris Johnson's charge on 30 cancer drugs) the EU ambassador to the ...
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Why does the UK want to remove medicines from the scope of the Northern Ireland protocol?

I've read on the BBC that the UK is seeking to renegotiate the NI protocol with the EU (which is part of the Brexit deal). I can understand why the UK sees some of the provisions as burdensome, but I'...
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11 votes
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What is going on with the DUP party "purge"?

A lot of this doesn't get covered in the US so it's been hard to follow. Apparently the Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland is... imploding? The interventions follows the resignation of ...
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Explain for kids — Why isn't Northern Ireland demanding a stay/leave referendum like Scotland?

https://politics.stackexchange.com/a/34470 is too abstruse — the history and religion conflicts are too complicated. I'm seeking answers written for a 10 y.o. Every week, I see a new article on the ...
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12 votes
2 answers
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Could UK SMEs set up centers in Northern Ireland to maintain full access to both the EU and the rest of the UK?

Under the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement and Future Relationship, Northern Ireland is in a very advantageous position where it has full access to the EU for goods, and can also send goods to (but not ...
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Are there any polls on the acceptance of the "Irish Sea border" in the UK?

I'm venturing a guess that a symbol that may constitute a rallying cry for hardcore Brexiteers is going to be the "Irish Sea border" which is already making its (still subdued) appearance as ...
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Have issues surrounding the Northern Ireland border been resolved?

The border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland was one of the thorny issues that plagued the initial stages of Brexit negotiations. During Prime Minister Theresa May's tenure, the ...
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10 votes
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Why doesn't UK consider Ireland a foreign country for the purpose of British law?

Why doesn't UK consider Ireland a foreign country for the purpose of British law? What is the philosophy behind it? If we examine the history, it can be pointed out that more than half people in ...
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Why is the UK blaming the EU and what does the UK want?

I believe I know the Brexit issue pretty well. However, I haven't been closely following it since Boris became PM (but still followed it somewhat). What I don't understand is this: [...] what we can'...
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3 votes
1 answer
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What's the problem with the Internal Market Bill's article 42?

The IMB's article 42 (pg 38) states (emphasis mine): 42 Power to disapply or modify export declarations and other exit procedures (1) A Minister of the Crown may by regulations make provision about ...
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Brexit: In what specific ways is the UK government planning to break international law (previous agreements)?

I've read this BBC news story in full, but I'm still confused what the UK government is planning to do. It seems it concerns the Northern Ireland Protocol, but the specifics are unclear: No 10 ...
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If Northern Ireland joins the Republic of Ireland to become a United Ireland, will the Common Travel Area be abolished? [closed]

If Northern Ireland joins the Republic of Ireland to become a United Ireland, will the Common Travel Area be abolished? CTA, in part, exists because of the fear of a hard border between UK and Ireland....
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7 votes
1 answer
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What's the difference between Unionists and Loyalists in Northern Ireland?

As I understand it, both groups advocate for the United Kingdom's retention of the six Ulster counties. What I'm struggling to determine, however, is the difference between these two groups/ideologies....
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4 votes
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Is it possible for the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland to form a Government if they win a majority?

The last election in the Northern Ireland produced a vote share, for the Alliance Party, of double what they got in the last election (16.8% from 7.9%). Reality may not permit a party gaining a ...
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3 votes
3 answers
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Are there any legislature that has a seat-switch system similar to the NI Assembly?

The Northern Ireland Assembly has a "seat-switch system" (co-option) that allows for MLAs to be replaced without holding by-elections. As the BBC explains: Co-option is the only option when ...
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If a referendum on Northern Ireland joining the Republic of Ireland is narrowly defeated, what is the trigger for another referendum?

From Wikipedia's Good Friday Agreement article: The agreement reached was that Northern Ireland was part of the United Kingdom, and would remain so until a majority of the people both of Northern ...
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How does the SDLP differ from Sinn Féin in terms of nationalism?

Both parties are described as (Irish) nationalist by Wikipedia. After losing all Westminster seats in 2017, the SDLP made a comeback this December, gaining back two seats. Speaking of seats, unlike ...
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What, if anything, are the consequences of nationalist parties winning a majority of constituencies in Northern Ireland?

At the same time that the Conservative party won a landslide majority in the UK Parliament, nationalist parties in Scotland and Northern Ireland also posted significant gains. Before the 2019 ...
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Does Boris Johnson’s new negotiated withdrawal agreement mandate customs checks between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK?

The new Withdrawal Agreement negotiated under Boris Johnson’s leadership has constantly come under scrutiny about whether or not the agreement when implemented would necessitate customs checks between ...
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Does the consent process for the Revised Irish Protocol breach the Belfast Agreement?

The Belfast Agreement specifies that key decisions require cross-community support, and it specifies what this means. In the Revised Irish Protocol, staying in the protocol arrangement requires a ...
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17 votes
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What was Jeremy Corbyn’s involvement in the Northern Ireland peace process?

I’ve heard mixed reports as to his involvement; some reports describe him as a broker of peace whose efforts brought an early end to the Troubles, while others describe him as a terrorist sympathizer ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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In the Revised Irish Protocol, what would the nature of the Irish Sea border be?

In the Revised Irish Protocol, a customs and regulatory border would be erected between Great Britain and Northern Ireland if Great Britain wished to diverge in tariffs and/or goods regulations from ...
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8 votes
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Why does the Remain Alliance not contest all Northern Ireland seats?

With its abstentionist policy, Sinn Féin cannot be counted as a remain party for the purpose of the election. Sinn Féin will effectively abstain in any voting on Brexit, while a remainer MP could vote ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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The Belfast/Good Friday Agreement and the revised Ireland/Northern Ireland Protocol

The revised Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland means Northern Ireland will stay in European Union Single Market regulatory alignment for goods, for a minimum of six years (four before the first ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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In the revised Irish Protocol when would the first Northern Irish consent vote occur?

In Article 18 of the revised Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland (an annex to the Withdrawal Agreement), the Northern Irish Assembly is given the ability to consent or deny consent for the ...
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12 votes
4 answers
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Why would an elected (absentionist) Sinn Féin MP resign from the House of Commons?

I came across the List of by-elections in the UK and noticed that there was a by-election in West Tyrone in 2018. Nothing unusual about that except that the seat was won by Sinn Féin in the 2017 ...
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5 votes
3 answers
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Why did the EU agree with a Stormont vote when the Assembly might not even meet?

The breaking news seems to be that Boris Johnson has struck a new deal with the EU. But the DUP is not on board. One interesting aspect is that Northern Ireland representatives will be able to decide ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Has Boris Johnson's government explained why its latest Brexit proposal does not include a referendum for Northern Ireland leaving the single market?

The "final offer" that Boris Johnson has made to the EU includes a provision that the single-market (for goods) arrangement for Northern Ireland needs to be explicitly approved and then extended by ...
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12 votes
1 answer
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What would the EU’s position be with respect to a United Ireland?

During the Scottish referendum of 2013, it was made clear that the United Kingdom is a member of the European Union and any part of the UK seceding from it would be treated as a 3rd country, and would ...
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40 votes
8 answers
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Can Northern Ireland's border issue be solved by repartition?

In following the ongoing Brexit drama, it seems everything is resolved except the question of the Northern Irish border, which is very difficult indeed to solve. Idea: draw a new border that splits ...
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33 votes
3 answers
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What explanation do proponents of a Scotland-NI bridge give for it breaking Brexit impasse?

According to Channel 4: The DUP, the party supporting the Conservatives in Parliament, believes a bridge [between Scotland and Northern Ireland] could break the Brexit impasse by removing the need ...
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38 votes
6 answers
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Why is the UK so keen to remove the "backstop" when their leadership seems to think that no border will be needed in Northern Ireland?

The "backstop" is a part of the Brexit agreement that EU negotiated with British Prime Minister May. It is a fallback option to be enforced only if no solution is found for the border issue between ...
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5 answers
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Would the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland be interested in reuniting?

One of the major issues which the EU and UK will face in case of a no-deal Brexit is the question of the border between the Republic of Ireland (country in the EU) and Northern Ireland (part of the UK)...
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20 votes
1 answer
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Brexit and backstop: would changes require unanimous approval by all EU countries? Does Ireland hold a veto?

A number of EU rules need to be agreed to unanimously: new members, treaties, taxation, IIRC. Ireland (the Republic, not NI) has repeatedly stated its concerns with the re-introduction of a hard ...
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13 votes
2 answers
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What is the improvement of the "legally binding commitment" proposed by Boris Johnson over the existing "backstop"?

As explained in this article in The Guardian, Boris Johnson has written to the EU suggesting the backstop could be replaced by some form of commitment to prevent a hard Irish border in his ...
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8 votes
2 answers
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Open Irish border and WTO's most favoured nation principle

In a recent question on Brexit, Kevin suggested the following solution allowing the UK to be out of the EU customs union while keeping the UK-Ireland border to a minimum: One could imagine Ireland ...
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9 votes
3 answers
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Have there been attempts to integrate the Catholics & Protestants of Northern Ireland?

As I understand the Irish border problem in Brexit, it is arising because Northern Ireland is deeply divided: one part considers themselves Irish, the other considers themselves British, and neither ...
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3 votes
3 answers
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Are Northern Ireland Unionists allied to England&Wales or Scotland?

Hypothetically, the United Kingdom has decided to separate, Czechoslovakia style, into England-and-Wales and Scotland. The UK ceases to exist with the two new countries as equal successor nations. In ...
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3 votes
2 answers
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Is there any point in having a backstop with a time limit?

A key part of the Withdrawal Agreement between the UK and EU is the so-called Irish Backstop, the guarantee that Northern Ireland will remain in a customs union with the EU until both sides agree on ...
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5 votes
3 answers
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Will the DUP agree to a Northern Ireland Referendum? [closed]

I heard it proposed by Michael Portillo (BBC This Week 13/6/19), that a Johnson government might solve the Irish conundrum by holding a referendum in Northern Ireland, which voted by a majority to ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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How was Northern Ireland governed prior to the Belfast Agreement?

The Belfast Agreement sets out the system of governance for Northern Ireland. But this agreement was only signed in 1998 and came into force in December 1999. How was Northern Ireland governed ...
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8 votes
3 answers
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How is the excise border managed in Ireland?

There is a tax border between Northern Ireland and Ireland for excise. By "tax border" I mean a border across which tax is due. Although there has been a harmonisation effort within the EU for ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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Did the UK Government ask for the Irish backstop?

Was the Irish backstop asked for by the UK Government or was it was it an imposition by the EU?
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