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37
votes
8answers
10k views

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 ...
33
votes
3answers
6k views

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 ...
38
votes
6answers
10k views

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?

In this article titled "Merkel Didn't Give Johnson 30 Days to Fix Brexit" the author writes The U.K. has been told time and time again that as soon as a workable solution is found to the problem ...
13
votes
5answers
4k views

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)...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

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 ...
3
votes
2answers
263 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
469 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
197 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

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 ...
2
votes
2answers
406 views

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?
30
votes
10answers
11k views

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 ...
4
votes
1answer
500 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 ...
52
votes
4answers
12k 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). ...
1
vote
1answer
86 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
965 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
204 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 ...
12
votes
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 ...
1
vote
1answer
324 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 “...
11
votes
3answers
2k 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
votes
1answer
327 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 ...
4
votes
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 ...
3
votes
2answers
552 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, ...
11
votes
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 ...
8
votes
2answers
739 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
255 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 ...
2
votes
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' ...
15
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
606 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 ...
56
votes
8answers
18k 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
736 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 ...
32
votes
2answers
9k 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 - ...
2
votes
1answer
310 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
710 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
360 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.
5
votes
1answer
375 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
144 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
974 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.