Tag Archives | UK

EU Special Status, and ignoring the Northern Ireland Assembly…

As Mick noted this morning, Micheal Martin has joined the list of party leaders calling on the Irish and British Governments to negotiate for EU special status for Northern Ireland post-Brexit. At the recent All-Island Civic Dialogue on Brexit, there was the Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams said in his speech more…

New life in an auld relationship? The Scottish government may pay for Northern Ireland abortions

A tentative move to erode the prohibitive position over abortion in Northern Ireland may become a landmark shift, now that the issue has been raised.  Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is open to the suggestion  as reported by the Guardian, that woman from Northern Ireland could have abortions performed free in Scotland under NHS devolution. more…

There is no threat to the Union. Irish bickering north and south over the reality of Brexit has to be replaced with practical cooperation, fast.

Newton’s latest observations on the “curmudgeonly” Arlene can be counterpointed with an incredibly wise article in the Indo by Brendan Keenan, Belfast born and bred but long anchored in Dublin and with a strong sense of reality for the interests of both. Arlene’s dour comments  can be contrasted  unfavourably  with the regal visionary style of more…

“if you do that you are going to see a flood of companies leaving Ireland and Canada and Germany and France and they are going to come back to the United States…”

Here’s something for Taoiseach Enda Kenny, and any one else, to keep in mind when they hear that US President-elect Donald Trump “understands Ireland very well.  He was complimentary about the decisions made about the economy here.”  The Belfast Telegraph reports comments by Stephen Moore, a “senior economic advisor to Mr Trump”, on BBC Radio 4’s more…

Gordon Brown’s plan for a constitutional convention is likely to be stillborn, but his ideas for closing the yawning UK wealth gap deserve attention

A more federal UK is needed to create a more economically equal state and  buttress the Union’s survival, says the former prime minister Gordon Brown. New research starkly exposes the wealth gap between London and the regions more clearly than ever. The Northern Powerhouse plan for the north of England only scratches the surface and more…

Nationalists and unionists need to discard their illusions about Brexit. The gap is dangerously wide.

We begin with two different  views of the impact of Brexit in Northern Ireland;  from first, the historian and Irish Times columnist Diarmaid Ferriter, contrasted later with DUP MP Nigel Dodds. In 1998, at the time of the endorsement of the Belfast Agreement, Fintan O’Toole observed that “Northern Ireland is now a place that is more…

The complexities of Brexit could overwhelm the British political system. For all Ireland, a bigger role needed for the GFA structures

.As the “all island ” civic forum meets in Dublin bereft of unionists, a high powered think tank The UK in a changing Europe warns: “Brexit has the potential to test the UK’s constitutional settlement, legal framework, political process and bureaucratic capacities to their limits – and possibly beyond.. And they suggest the repatriation of decision-making more…

EU Standardised Driving Licence, mostly, Trumps Political Psychosis

Sinn Féin TD, Dessie Ellis, has taken umbrage with the Irish National Driver Licence Service for refusing to indulge some nationalists’ political psychosis on the recently standardised EU driving licence.  From the Irish News report Sinn Féin’s Dessie Ellis spoke out after a renewed licence issued to Co Tipperary resident Thomas Murray stated ‘Northern Ireland’ more…

“I’m trying not to take The Fall personally.”

Guardian TV critic Stuart Heritage with a nail on head review of the “dead dog of a show” that The Fall became.  From the Guardian review Even by most recent standards, The Fall was dire this year. Now that it’s done, and Paul Spector is dead and Stella Gibson is back enigmatically muttering like a more…

Northern Ireland High Court rejects Brexit Challenges

As the BBC report notes, the High Court in Belfast has dismissed two judicial review challenges to the way the UK Government intends to invoke Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union to trigger withdrawal from the EU. One of the legal challenges, by victims’ campaigner Raymond McCord relied on legal aid.  The other, involving Sinn Féin, the more…

Tackling Paramilitary Activity: “government funding will not be released until the Executive agrees a more detailed action plan”

As I noted in a post in September In July, the NI First and deputy First Ministers and Justice Minister, Claire Sugden announced the publication of the NI Executive’s Action Plan for Tackling Paramilitary Activity, Criminality and Organised Crime – 147kb pdf file here. Costing £50 million over 5 years, it’s jointly funded, £25 million each, by the NI Executive and the more…

“It may seem that writing in icing on a cake is a trivial form of expression…”

As Alan mentioned in his post on the Court of Appeal ruling against Ashers Baking Company yesterday, noted legal commentator Joshua Rozenberg, describing the ruling as “surprisingly straightforward”, outlined the judges reasoning …if a business does supply a service, it must not discriminate on grounds of sexual orientation — which means it must not refuse more…

Pressure on Theresa May is mounting.. and this is only the start..

Theresa May’s little pitch over coffee at the EU summit last night seems to have backfired.  The Guardian and the Daily Telegraph although divided over a hard and a soft Brexit  are united in reporting  that she  ” created a lot of anger.” This from the bête noire. Asked how talks had gone with Mrs May more…

At home the ” running commentary” defence is under pressure. But at the EU summit, Theresa is limited to pitching ” over coffee” tonight.

 With the leak of Brexit cabinet committee documents and the Chancellor’s admission of tensions within  the committee itself, the UK government’s refusal to give “a running commentary” is under heavy pressure already. This morning in Commons questions, the Brexit Secretary still stalled on the details but insisted in general : Davis says the government will more…

Taoiseach Enda Kenny: “I need to know what it is that the Executive in Northern Ireland is actually seeking”

With the Northern Ireland First Minister over-praising a letter of acknowledgement from the UK Prime Minister, and the deputy First Minister sounding off [again? – Ed] about his lack of trust in “this British government”, it’s worth noting this exchange between Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams in the Dáil yesterday high-lighting the more…

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