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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50 views

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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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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1answer
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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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366 views

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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1answer
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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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1answer
167 views

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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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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3answers
259 views

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 ...
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1answer
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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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1answer
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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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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 Norther Irish border, which is very difficult indeed to solve. Idea: draw a new border that splits ...
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3answers
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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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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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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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1answer
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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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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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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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3answers
522 views

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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2answers
216 views

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. ...
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2answers
270 views

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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3answers
500 views

Will the DUP agree to a Northern Ireland Referendum?

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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1answer
211 views

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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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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2answers
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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
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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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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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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
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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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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
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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
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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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980 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 ...
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2answers
764 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 ...
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2answers
206 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
376 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
771 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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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
327 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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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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4answers
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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 ...
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1answer
355 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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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
872 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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559 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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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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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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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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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
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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
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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 ...