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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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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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1answer
76 views

Is there an estimate on the number of attacks on customs committed by the PIRA (or its predecessors)?

It struck me that while there is some dramatic visual evidence of PIRA's attacks on customs during the Troubles (e.g. Newry Customs Office in 1972), and there's even some mention in Wikipedia of such ...
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5answers
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What is the evidence that custom checks in Northern Ireland are going to result in violence?

UPDATE: I reformulated my question to stress that my focus is on the influence of customs checks, not on the violence in Northern Ireland in general. My impression is that the EU and most British ...
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10answers
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Why don't hard Brexiteers insist on a hard border to prevent illegal immigration after Brexit?

This is a follow-up to this question about what hard Brexiteers want with respect to the Irish border. It appears that hard Brexiteers are mostly happy to leave this question for the DUP and Ireland ...
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1answer
391 views

Why isn't Northern Ireland demanding a referendum on joining Ireland, similar to the one in Scotland? [duplicate]

Northern Ireland looks like it's in a perfect position for a referendum on leaving the UK: it could instantly join its neighbor Ireland and remain a part of the EU, it has a long history of protesting ...
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4answers
11k views

What do hard-Brexiteers want with respect to the Irish border?

Hard-Brexiteers would like the UK to have a "clean break" with the EU, and in particular they don't want any part of the UK to stay even temporarily in the customs union (the so-called backstop). ...
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1answer
2k views

What Brexit solution does the DUP want?

In the context of the debate after May's deal was voted down, I've seen a fair amount of reporting on what the DUP doesn't want, but I haven't been able to find anything much on what they do want, ...
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1answer
70 views

Was the referendum on the Good Friday Agreement called “confirmatory” at the time?

In the context of a 2nd Brexit referendum discussion Peter Kyle Labour, Hove Last week, 268 Members voted for the principle of a confirmatory ballot—the largest number of votes for any ...
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3answers
764 views

Why does the EU insist on the backstop when it is clear in a no deal scenario they still intend to keep an open border?

The controversial backstop is seen by the hard-line Brexiteers as a trap by the EU to keep Northern Ireland permanently in a customs union without an option to get out if the UK wanted. In a no deal ...
8
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2answers
490 views

Did Michel Barnier and Leo Varadkar say that “no deal”, there won't be a hard border between the Irelands?

My understanding has always been that under a no-deal scenario, a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland would become necessary. After all, the EU must guarantee that any ...
2
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2answers
179 views

Among all parties in Parliament, is there sufficient support for a hard border in the Irish Sea?

One of the reasons that the Brexit debate has been so fraught (or so it appears to us Yanks) is that the Tories are currently supported in Parliament by the Democratic Unionist Party. This party ...
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3answers
311 views

What did it used to mean when Sinn Fein threatened with “grave implications”?

I don't claim to have a deep understanding of Northern Ireland politics. I found it fairly ominous that in a recent declaration (19 March 2019) a Sinn Fein vice-president said: "The British ...
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5answers
640 views

Why is a “hard border” between Ireland and Northern Ireland such a problem for EU/UK negotiations around brexit?

I have read a lot about this and the answer to my question seems to be that one is afraid that a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland will lead to a restart of "The Troubles" and violence ...
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4answers
3k views

Could Sinn Fein swing any Brexit vote in Parliament?

Half-informed American here so I apologize if this seems like a naive question on British politics. Given the strong preference of many in Ireland to avoid a hard border between the Republic of ...
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1answer
300 views

The backstop in the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill

If I understand correctly there are two parts to the backstop in the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill. First, if the future relationship has not been agreed before December 2020 then “...
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4answers
1k views

A vote on the Brexit backstop

The backstop aiming to prevent a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland is the main sticking point in the Brexit negotiations between the UK government and the EU. It appears that the UK ...
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1answer
1k views

Would it be plausible to solve the Irish Border issue by unifying Ireland?

The Irish border seems to be the biggest obstacle to establishing an agreement on Brexit and we've seen considerable talk about hard and soft borders. There are two potential solutions that I have NOT ...
12
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1answer
293 views

How is Northern Ireland currently being governed with its executive vacant and its legislature suspended?

Currently, the Northern Ireland Executive is vacant while the Northern Ireland Assembly is suspended, following the resignation of deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness and subsequently First ...
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4answers
2k views

Will there be a border between Ireland and the UK if they can't agree on a deal?

Please help me understand this. Some brexiteer colleagues say it won't be a border, because of the Good Friday Agreement but WTO rules mean there must be a border. Will the UK then decide to break WTO ...
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1answer
776 views

Why does Brexit threaten the Good Friday Agreement from 1998?

Since the British referendum to leave the EU I often hear that Brexit threatens the Good Friday Agreement. As far as I know the Good Friday Agreement pretty much ended violent conflict in Northern ...
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2answers
515 views

If the NI border is the major sticking point in the Brexit negotiations, why are both sides willing to risk no-deal?

The news over the past few weeks have made a big thing about how the major sticking point in the Brexit negotiations is the 'backstop' over the Northern Irish border, with both sides, apparently, ...
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6answers
6k views

Why are the nationalists and unionists in Ireland & Northern Ireland OK with using violence?

This is a follow-up question to Why can't Northern Ireland just have a stay/leave referendum? As I understand the answers to that question, a key part of the problem is that a significant fraction of ...
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2answers
2k views

What did Theresa May mean by: the EU wants a backstop to the backstop?

In her statement to Parliament, Theresa May stated that the EU wanted a backstop to the backstop. What does she mean by that? If I understand correctly, the backstop is a fallback position for ...
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2answers
630 views

No-deal Brexit and Irish border; can third countries transit through Republic of Ireland?

In case the United Kingdom (UK) leaves the European Union (EU) without any deal, World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules would apply for trade between the UK and any other country or trade bloc. Some ...
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11answers
25k views

Why can't Northern Ireland just have a stay/leave referendum?

In following the ongoing Brexit drama, I notice that the Northern Ireland border represents an important sticking point. In particular, both sides agree that there must not be a hard border. Not being ...
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5answers
2k views

Could the UK “take Ireland hostage?”

Consider the following sequence of events: In March, the UK fails to reach an agreement with the EU and exits with no deal. The UK leaves the British side of the Irish border open, to comply with the ...
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1answer
251 views

Why do the Conservatives bother standing in elections in Northern Ireland?

According to Wikipedia, the Conservative party only started contesting elections in Northern Ireland in the late 1980s, and they haven't ever been close to a breakthrough. Their political philosophy ...
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1answer
2k views

What reasons did the DUP have to oppose the Good Friday Agreement and do those reasons still apply?

According to a recent BBC History article the DUP was opposed to the Good Friday Agreement, quoting that article: In Northern Ireland, campaigning was fierce as DUP leader Ian Paisley urged a 'No' ...
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1answer
891 views

Donald Trump on the Irish border?

It's well known that Donald Trump is an advocate of (a fairly hard) Brexit, along the lines of the UK taking back control of its borders (a topic that meshes well with Trump's domestic policy on ...
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1answer
787 views

What treaties or (written) agreements would a hard border in Ireland breach, post-Brexit?

Would the hard border that would come up in a "no deal" Brexit (between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland) be violating any binding agreements that the UK has signed? (And the same goes for ...
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3answers
576 views

Why didn't Ireland and the UK unify their visa regimes?

Ireland and the UK share an open-border area just like the Schengen countries, but unlike the Schengen area they lack a common short-term immigration policy. As a result, pretty much anyone can obtain ...
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8answers
17k views

Why is it impossible to leave the Single Market without a hard Irish border?

I see a repeated assumption that puzzles me. From another well asked and answered question: On one hand it is impossible for the UK to leave the Single Market while maintaining an open border with ...
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2answers
826 views

Is there a clear statement from the DUP on their position on the post-Brexit border with Ireland?

The UK-EU Brexit negotiations on the 4th December 2017 have ended without any clear progress reportedly in part because the Democratic Unionist party (the DUP, who are supporting the Conservative ...
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1answer
716 views

IRA's approach to Brexit

It is commonly known that nowadays IRA (Irish Republican Army) doesn't pose a big threat for British Government and ceased all hostilities after Good Friday Agreement. I am speaking particularly about ...
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3answers
3k views

Why is having border controls in Ireland so problematic for Irish nationalists?

One of the biggest challenges of Brexit is resolving the issue of the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland. On one hand it is impossible for the UK to leave the Single Market while maintaining ...
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2answers
8k views

Why don't Sinn Féin take their seats in the UK parliament?

It seems that whatever happens (or happened) in a UK general election, the Irish nationalist party, Sinn Féin, will presumably always be in opposition. This means that the British government - ...
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1answer
601 views

Why is the position of First Minister of Northern Ireland currently (June 2017) vacant?

I understand that in January 2017, the deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland, Martin McGuinness, resigned, and due to the way the devolved government of Northern Ireland works, this forced the ...
2
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1answer
295 views

Why would a coalition with the DUP bring violence back to Northern Ireland?

In Question Time a couple of days ago a former senior government figure, who helped negotiate the Good Friday Agreement. Said that a coalition between the Conservatives and the DUP (Democratic ...
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3answers
1k views

Why are left-wing unionism or right-wing Irish nationalism unsuccessful in Northern Ireland?

In the United Kingdom general election 2017 in Northern Ireland, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and Sinn Féin won all but one Northern Irish constituencies between them. The DUP is unionist and ...
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2answers
693 views

Why have Labour and Lib Dem not been registered in Northern Ireland?

While I know that parties in NI have to self-identify as either "nationalists" or "unionists", it is unclear to me why this would have forbidden the entry of mainstream UK parties. In fact, I have ...
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1answer
332 views

Can Sinn Fein join a minority coalition in a no-confidence vote?

I'm just wondering if Sinn Fein having a stated boycott, can enter parliament in a vote of no confidence. It seems to be otherwise consistent with their message. Perpetual no-confidence.
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1answer
319 views

What would change as far as political alignments if Scotland and/or NI leave the UK?

It is my impression that Scotland and NI tend to be "more left" politically (i.e. more likely to lean Labour or other left-er parties vs. Tories). As such, all other things being equal (including ...
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1answer
137 views

How do Northern Ireland's Assembly designations work? What are its advantages and disadvantages?

What are the implications of MLAs designating themselves as being part of a certain community? To what extent does it fulfil its intended purpose? What are its criticisms? What alternatives have been ...
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2answers
955 views

Why do US politicians commonly refer to the UK as “Great Britain”?

The United Kingdom's full name is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Thus, technically, referring to the UK as "Great Britain" excludes Northern Ireland.