Northern Ireland

Only a ‘reverse Greenland’ for Northern Ireland can resolve Brexit

Given the impasse over the future of the Northern Ireland border, argues Solon Solomon (Brunel University), the only solution is to implement a ‘reverse Greenland’ – where Northern Ireland would remain part of the EU.

Boris Johnson recently tweeted a video of a baby making his first steps. He captioned it ‘Let’s get Brexit done’. Yet these baby steps post-Brexit […]

Northern Ireland depends on the EU’s fluid borders for survival

The prospect of a Brexit deal has foundered on the issue of the Northern Ireland border. Duncan Morrow (Ulster University) explains why the delicate relationship between Ireland and its dysfunctional neighbour depended on the EU’s fluid borders to survive. Any effort to ‘do’ Brexit on Johnson-DUP terms means that devolution in Northern Ireland will ‘die’, forcing an unpopular Westminster […]

Boris Johnson’s alternative to the backstop explained

Since Theresa May’s Lancaster House speech, the position of the UK government has been that the UK should be outside the single market and the customs union after Brexit. At the same time, the UK government has committed to protecting the Good Friday Agreement by not accepting any physical infrastructure at the Irish land border. As a result, the […]

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    Northern Ireland border poll must avoid pitfalls of Brexit Referendum

Northern Ireland border poll must avoid pitfalls of Brexit Referendum

Brexit will likely increase support in Northern Ireland for a united Ireland. The Brexit process, however, illustrates the difficulties of using a popular vote to mandate a radical but poorly defined change of constitutional direction. Ironically, the dynamics unleashed by that process may lead to Irish reunification being approached in the same way, writes Oran Doyle (Trinity College Dublin).

The UK’s departure from the EU will likely increase […]

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    Both Northern Ireland and the UK will suffer at least 3-4 % reduction in GDP per year for a decade as a consequence of Brexit

Both Northern Ireland and the UK will suffer at least 3-4 % reduction in GDP per year for a decade as a consequence of Brexit

Of pressing concern is how Brexit will affect Northern Ireland in terms of trade, freedom of movement of persons, foreign direct investment, and loss of European Union funding. M. Leann Brown argues that evidence suggests that NI and the United Kingdom will ultimately suffer at minimum a 3-4 per cent reduction in GDP per year for a decade as a consequence […]

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    The rise and fall of Northern Ireland’s voice in Brexit negotiations

The rise and fall of Northern Ireland’s voice in Brexit negotiations

To the surprise of many, Northern Ireland – through the DUP – has been the silent majority shareholder in the Brexit negotiations to date. Their influence is remarkable because, in practice, they have no direct role in the negotiations. Sylvia de Mars (Newcastle Law School) describes the rise and fall of Northern Ireland’s importance in Brexit negotiations.

The Article 50 […]

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    Long read | How the perennial problem of Northern Ireland took centre stage in Brexit

Long read | How the perennial problem of Northern Ireland took centre stage in Brexit

Northern Ireland has played a starring role in the unfolding of Brexit, writes Lisa Claire Whitten (Queen’s University Belfast). The “particular circumstances” presented by the “unique…challenges” of Northern Ireland did not feature prominently in the early stages of Brexit but these have since defined the process.

The question of how to ‘solve’ the problem of the Irish border was the most […]

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    Brexit is a form of secession – Scotland and Northern Ireland might soon follow

Brexit is a form of secession – Scotland and Northern Ireland might soon follow

Article 50 allows a Member State ‘to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements’. In legal terms, Brexit bears a significant resemblance to secession, argues Nikos Skoutaris (UEA). This process marks the rupture with the old constitutional order and the creation of a new one. Brexit, therefore, might also become the catalyst for the secession of the […]

Could a Northern Ireland border poll happen?

The prospect of a vote in Northern Ireland on Irish unity – a border poll, as it is often called – is more and more discussed. The Constitution Unit has published a short report by Alan Whysall (UCL Constitution Unit), which aims to set out the key issues, and stimulate discussion. Below, he outlines the main themes of the report.

The Secretary […]

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    Long read | Beyond tariffs: what ‘No Deal’ would mean for the Irish border

Long read | Beyond tariffs: what ‘No Deal’ would mean for the Irish border

Whether at 11pm on 29 March or at a later date, in the absence of the Withdrawal Agreement being approved or Article 50 being revoked, the UK and the EU will find themselves in a ‘no deal scenario’. Given that the joint UK and EU commitment to avoid a hard Irish border was behind the backstop that proved so […]