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26

The withdrawal agreement requires a qualified majority by the remaining EU members (Article 50 section 4). Any extension of the negotiating period must be unanimous (Article 50 section 3). EU members have been known to engage in "blackmail" to get an effective veto in areas which do not require unanimity by threatening a veto in unrelated areas which do ...


25

Read the wording very carefully. This Government will not put in place infrastructure, checks, or controls at the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland. We would be happy to accept a legally binding commitment to this effect and hope that the EU would do likewise However, that does not say that the regulatory regimes will remain the same north and ...


25

Ireland is a foreign country in British Law. But as a result of shared history and a succession of treaties, the two independent countries grant a variety of rights to each others citizens. This is a choice of the two independent governments. It is expedient because of the geographical and historical context. From the middle ages until the 1920s, Ireland ...


23

There's no evidence that Corbyn advocates terrorism or other kinds of violence and he has consistently stated his opposition to violence. If "sympathise" means agree, approve, favourable to, support, Corbyn did openly "sympathise" with the IRA's ultimate goal of a united republican Ireland, but he does not appear to "sympathise" with violence. Corbyn's ...


23

The European Council agreed in 2017 (see page 4) that a united Ireland would be part of the EU: The European Council acknowledges that the Good Friday Agreement expressly provides for an agreed mechanism whereby a united Ireland may be brought about through peaceful and democratic means; and, in this regard, the European Council acknowledges that, ...


21

The UK and Ireland are both part of the EU Single Market and the Common Travel Area. Hence there is no excise duty on goods crossing the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, and citizens of UK and the Republic are free to cross the border without stopping. Update: There is a difference in fuel duty between NI and the Republic, and ...


16

I've recently explained the backstop in this answer, a few days ago. The problem here is that one has to understand that breaching it would also breach the Peace Agreement. Some readers might not be aware just how bloody, how vicious, how terrible, that conflict was. Because they ended about 20 years ago. The Troubles lasted decades. They saw families torn,...


15

The UK and the Republic of Ireland have maintained the common travel area for nearly a century through a series of non-binding agreements. The most recent agreement, in 2011, was the first public one. It does not contain an explicit delegation of border authority, but makes it clear that the parties understand that they share responsibility for the common ...


12

Here is an account of his historical involvement with the NI peace process from Channel 4 factcheckers. TL;DR: Corbyn was a professional muck-stirrer for most of his career. He took an unpopular position and stuck to it, and then acted in ways that seem designed to provoke outrage. The summary is: He consistently campaigned for a peaceful resolution ...


11

Fuel is cheaper in Ireland than in Northern Ireland. So Ireland doesn't have to do anything about it. Northern Ireland would have to do something about it, but currently seems to do nothing, even though the estimates are that it (and/or the UK) lose(s) 200 million pounds a year because of the cross-border refueling of private vehicles. And yes, there is a ...


9

The ten non-permanent seats of the UNSC are distributed on something like a regional basis, but there are elections between the regional candidates. That means getting elected validates the influence and popularity of the country, and not getting elected despite an intensive diplomatic campaign shows a lack of diplomatic leverage. Not trying is one thing. ...


6

In a word, yes. The backstop, which this idea is supposed to replace, was only ever intended to be used if the UK and EU could not agree on terms by the end of the transition period (currently scheduled for December 31st 2021). The Withdrawal Agreement states that if alternative arrangements can be found which are agreed by both the EU and UK then there ...


5

Initially the EU will probably try legal means to force the UK to enforce a new border down the Irish Sea. If that fails the point may become moot because Northern Ireland votes to rejoin Ireland in a Border Poll. It's also possible that the UK will eventually agree to a deal, just late. Ultimately if all that fails there will have to be some kind of border ...


4

If I got the math right, the transition ends at the end of 2020, so four years after that is 2024, so in October-November 2024 or so (because it is supposed to happen two months before then end of the "period"). A BBC article from Oct 17 confirms 2024 as the year of the first vote. There's however the possibility to extend the transition However the UK ...


4

Does a hard border in Ireland necessarily breach the Good Friday Agreement? According to my understanding, a hard border would not literally breach the Good Friday Agreement (GFA), but it would strongly contradict its principles. In other words, it's a matter of the letter of the GFA versus its spirit. The GFA was a peace agreement between multiple parties, ...


4

As noted elsewhere in that article, the Conservative political objections to the backstop as defined in the draft Withdrawal agreement are that that it would require Northern Ireland to essentially remain within the European Single Market with the rest of the UK in the Customs Union, and that the UK couldn't unilaterally decide to leave it. In principle an ...


4

(Answer rewritten in response to discussion) You just assume the FTA negotiations will not fail. Also you have the brain cells to look at the alternative course of action: NO DEAL, wherein we have an international border in Ireland in 64 days Right, now I see what the question is; why don't the MPs on the right accept the backstop element of the WA, ...


3

In addition to the reasons listed in the accepted answer, the migration of Irish citizens to the rest of the UK, over hundreds of years, means that large numbers of UK citizens have Irish ancestry. This article in the Belfast Telegraph claims that 20% of English people, 43.84% of Scots and 31.99% of the Welsh are part Irish. Many areas of Britain have strong ...


3

I would submit that considerations about this are as much or more political then they are practical. From this german's perspective here, the withdrawal agreement has been demonized and defeated in parliament to such an extent, that any serious good faith looking attempt to ratify it by parliament would draw the ire of voters and the party base all around - ...


3

I'm not terribly sure of this; the law is obscure enough so it doesn't have a Wikipedia page. Voices were raised in the Seanad that the pawnbroker business was not "a particularly useful and worthwhile element of modern society", that it was a "mark of poverty" etc. The minister in charge of the bill chose not to respond to such criticisms, which apparently ...


3

No. At least, not that part of the GFA. Customs and Single Market regulations are not a constitutional issue. In fact, the same section of the GFA quoted in full in my opinion makes this clear: (iii) acknowledge that while a substantial section of the people in Northern Ireland share the legitimate wish of a majority of the people of the island of Ireland ...


3

The withdrawal agreement has not been ratified, and it is very unlikely that it will be in its current form. This is not least because the current government of the UK are opposed to many aspects of the treaty, including the backstop arrangements for Northern Ireland. The renewed focus on the Irish border is a result of the UK government trying to ...


2

The UK implemented electronic exit checks on 8 April 2015. On March 28 of last year the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration published the report An inspection of exit checks, describing an inspection that was carried out between August 2017 and December 2017. The report's "summary of conclusions" begins with an overview of the history of ...


2

There will be a Tarriff and regulatory border between NI and GB following implementation of Boris' deal after the transition period, end of December 2021. In practice it will be a paper based border with all goods leaving the UK mainland heading for NI being subject to tarriffs is they are deemed "at risk" of entering the EU. These two articles ...


2

On a purely technical note, since the Common Travel Area includes United Kingdom, Ireland, the Isle of Man, and the Channel Islands, a united Ireland leaving it wouldn't automatically cause the area to dissolve. On a more practical note there would still be significant hurdles to immigration controls between the UK and a united Ireland. The Good Friday ...


1

In 1900 the British Empire was single state in international law and dominions like Canada and Australia had self-government with the British Empire. They did not have separate citizenship laws or a diplomatic corps. From the UK perspective there were "British countries" (part of the Empire) and "foreign countries" (everywhere else). Over ...


1

In an opinion piece for the Globe and Mail back in 2018, Roland Paris (an international affairs scholar and former foreign policy adviser to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau) argued that a seat on the UN Security Council would afford Canada positive influence on the world stage. For example: last time Canada served on the council, in 1999-2000, it led a ...


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