Northern Ireland

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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 […]

In Northern Ireland, old fears and long shadows

For 20 years, Northern Ireland was tucked out of sight of Westminster. But the combination of the row over the backstop, the DUP’s power-broking and two years without any government in Stormont have changed that. The hatred and revenge that flowed from British-Irish power struggles is child’s play to arouse and the work of thousands to manage, writes Duncan Morrow […]

What no-deal really means for customs on the Northern Irish border

We still have little idea what the customs arrangements on the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland will be after 29 March. A border control expert explains why the border is so crucial and sets out the scale of the task customs and other regulatory bodies on both sides of the border will face.

If the United Kingdom leaves the EU as scheduled, […]

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    Breached or protected? The ‘principle’ of consent in Northern Ireland and the UK government’s Brexit proposals

Breached or protected? The ‘principle’ of consent in Northern Ireland and the UK government’s Brexit proposals

Today the UK government has published a policy paper that attempts to counter unionist concerns about the Withdrawal Agreement and its potential impact on Northern Ireland’s place in the United Kingdom. Underpinning this paper is the government’s commitment to ‘maintain absolutely the principle of consent’. Katy Hayward and David Phinnemore (Queen’s University Belfast) explain the origins and significance of this concept in […]