The future of the British-Irish Body

The British-Irish Body is still discussing its own future

The former Conservative Security Minister Michael Mates has been a stalwart of the Body since its birth. He described the inaugural meeting 18 years ago as the most hostile suspicious and ill tempered meeting he had ever attended

The Body is in danger of being a fairly bland talking shop which ministers ignore and which is still ridiculously boycotted by the unionists

When it meets in 6 months time in Wexford it is likely to become the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly and shadow the secretive British-Irish Council and quiz ministers in these islands on various issues. There is no reason why Unionists cannot join the Body and turn it into a vibrant Strand 3 institution.

  • Nevin

    Gary, perhaps the BIIPB ought to better reflect Strand 3. It still looks too much like its predecessor, the AIIPB.

    I don’t think, for example, that the Republic of Ireland should have more members than Scotland or that every other meeting should be held in the Republic.

    This would mean that the status of London and Dublin would be brought more in line with the other centres of administration.

  • Alan Anderson

    The onions boycott this too?? HAHA its a sop to them but guess their to busy on their altar of idolatry “oh God mother England saviour of Norn Iron”

  • Nevin

    Which ‘vibrant’ Unionist do you have in mind, Gary? It’s not often the two labels appear in the same sentence!!

  • manichaeism

    Sorry Nevin, but the United Kingdom is still one country and the Republic of Ireland is another. Westminster is not a regional assembly yet and the Dail will never just be a regional assembly of the United Kingdom.

  • Nevin

    It makes sense that the BIIPB should be more representative of the people of these islands as described in Strand Three:

    1. A British-Irish Council (BIC) will be established under a new British-Irish Agreement to promote the harmonious and mutually beneficial development of the totality of relationships among the peoples of these islands.
    2. Membership of the BIC will comprise representatives of the British and Irish Governments, devolved institutions in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, when established, and, if appropriate, elsewhere in the United Kingdom, together with representatives of the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands.

  • mnob

    “He described the inaugural meeting 18 years ago as the most hostile suspicious and ill tempered meeting he had ever attended”

    … and these were meetings unionists werent at. So much for a sell out !

  • RepublicanStones

    the UK is one country???? here was me thinking it is a political union of several countries. so scotland aint a country anymore??????

  • manichaeism

    Scotland used to be a country and maybe it will be again in the future. At the moment it is just a province of the UK.

  • RepublicanStones

    have you asked any scots if they agree?

  • manichaeism

    They might not agree but it is a fact. If they don’t like it then they know what to do. Personally I would be delighted if Scotland opted for independence and once again became a proper nation.

  • RepublicanStones

    so its fair to say then that ‘Northern Ireland’ isn’t really a country?

  • manichaeism

    Of course not. It’s a province. I thought even Unionists agreed with that description.

    By the way, I would be more than happy to agree with Nevin’s suggestion if Scotland became an independent nation.

  • Mayoman

    The official status of the UK is (I think!): The only ‘nation’ is the UK. There are only 2 countries, England and Scotland, NI is a province and Wales is principality. Close?

  • Tochais Síoraí

    Nah, the UK is 3 and 1/6th countries.

  • sunny southeast

    It is an irony that trimble claimed the bi as a council for the british isles Now it could end as a forum where scotish irish welsh and maybe english nationalist discuss to kill off the uk. If this keeps on growing where does it lead to maybe the britishness that the ulster unionists aspire to is dead and sinnfein to gain a ui will have engage with certain aspects more almost surreal