Region Archives: UK

The Supreme Court rules that devolved assembly consent is not legally required for Brexit. But the political battle is only just beginning

. So  the Westminster Parliament must vote on triggering Article 50 – but on what exactly and how often until Brexit is achieved?  The battle has only just begun. It’s  bad news for nationalists everywhere.  The Court ruled that the consent of the Scottish Parliament, the National Assembly of Wales and the Northern Ireland Assembly more…

“we have stripped away the overgrowth of decades of ill-informed comment, half truths and deliberate misrepresentations which have all too often masqueraded as established facts.”

Given the many lurid conspiracy theories that have been constructed over the years around the abuse at the Kincora Boys’ Home in east Belfast, it’s worth highlighting the findings of the Inquiry into Historical Institutional Abuse in Northern Ireland between 1922 and 1995 on that issue in particular. While the BBC mentioned it in a longer more…

Now the turn of Seamus Mallon at 80. Why he and Trimble were unable to unite over arms decommissioning remains unexplained

Following the tributes to John Hume on his 80th   birthday, the venerable SDLP deputy leader and  the initial deputy first minster Seamus Mallon has given a fascinating interview to the Irish News  for his own  80th. In passing I can’t help noticing the comparisons and contrasts with Sinn Fein. What are yours? On working with more…

In a slow and secret transition within Sinn Fein, Gerry Adams, still in charge, appears to be setting high targets for negotiations on the Assembly

At a Sinn Fein conference on a united Ireland in Dublin,  Gerry Adams has claimed Brexit  is a “ hostile action” that  will “destroy the Good Friday Agreement”,  although adding that  “special status” would not take Northern Ireland out of the UK. Is this to be a sticking point in any talks to restore the more…

Ronan Fanning and the resonances of the history of a century ago

A few years ago at a conference in King’s College London, the Irish historian Ronan Fanning who has just died could still  get hot under collar about  how the British politicians Asquith and Lloyd George exploited Irish Home Rule for their own political ends.  We were about to  enter the decade of commemoration culminating in more…

UK Government: “Clearly, any form of joint authority would be incompatible with the consent principle [of the Belfast Agreement].”

A short BBC report points to an interesting exchange today in the House of Lords where the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Northern Ireland Office and Scotland Office, Lord Dunlop, poured a bucket of cold water on the suggestion that “joint authority” could be an option if the relevant parties fail to form an Executive following more…

Ireland must seek EU permission to make a draft bilateral deal with Britain

Dublin reaction to Theresa May’s big Brexit speech is understandably cautious verging on the sceptical.   Is more substantial content  to be expected when Theresa meets Enda in Dublin next week,  no doubt to discuss  her hopes that an open-ish border can be achieved  through  “frictionless “ trading monitored digitally  and immigration rules enforced mainly through more…

Jeremy Corbyn

Corbyn against @UKLabour’s sleeping base in Northern Ireland playing an official part in #AE17

Just in from the Labour Party in NI stalwart, Boyd Black… Jeremy Corbyn has said it is ‘extremely unlikely’ there will be official Labour candidates in the Stormont Assembly elections. This comment is unhelpful. It is also not surprising, as the promised official review by the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) has been disgracefully delayed, more…

A Pointless £5m Election

Consider this. We have a coalition government that is incompetent and has fallen because it can’t govern. The leadership of both coalition parties (DUP and Sinn Fein) are calling for an Assembly election (that will cost around £5m) just a few months after the last election. The last election had a turnout of less than more…

So what of those 27 trade deals?

Time for a little light relief. Much is made of the 27 countries queuing up to make trade deals with the UK, but as ever the devil is in the detail.  The first observation is that two or three of the countries concerned are not in a position to enter into bilaterals with the United more…

“a strategy which now views the very presence of devolved government in Northern Ireland as a bargaining chip with the Government and with the DUP.”

In the News Letter, Sam McBride provides an astute assessment of the “profound consequences” of Sinn Féin’s decision to resign Martin McGuinness from the Northern Ireland Executive Office.  From the News Letter article   Mr Adams now appears to envisage yet another round of ‘crisis talks’ in Belfast in attempt to extract further concessions from more…