EU Parliament votes down a proposal for Special Status

Some news from the European Parliament yesterday

A comprehensive defeat for the proposal, but the an analyst who watches this, told me this;

This is useful from Julian O’Neill about where the EU Parliament sits in the Brexit process;


  • MainlandUlsterman

    I don’t think the UK government is keen anyway, so probably a moot point? Interesting they are voting on it though …

  • anglo-irish

    Sinn Fein really ought to just swallow their pride and use the name of the state – Northern Ireland. It isn’t a swear word.

  • Liam Ó Cuinn

    Maybe it just turns our delicate stomachs.

  • Karl

    And Britain cant have frictionless trade outside the customs union. This is going to be messy and painful. Expect to see the middle 10% swing behind change.

    With the UK economic contraction coming, the collapse in sterling and the knock on effects to inflation and living standards, the NI subvention will look like an easy target. Its a good thing the 10 billion represents less than 1.5% of government expenditure.

  • Karl

    On the basis that Ulster is only used accurately as well???

  • Brian O’Neill

    But but we are special

  • Korhomme

    If I understand this all correctly, the EU parliament have to approve the final Brexit deal/arrangement. This appears to be positioning and politiking.

  • Damien Mullan

    The English refer to the north of their country as, ‘The North’, Americans also, indeed, practicality every country with a north. We Irish use, ‘The North’, to describe the northern 6 counties of our island country. It really isn’t that difficult to understand. I have no problem with unionists using Northern Ireland, but tell me to solely use Northern Ireland and you’ll get short shrift and a few expletives thrown your direction.

  • Damien Mullan

    This does not look good for Boris ‘having your cake, and eating it’ Johnson.

    Not good for Dublin-Hollyhead, or Dublin Pembroke either. Though I’m sure Irish Ferries and Senta Line can redeploy those Hollyhead and Pembroke ferries to beef-up the frequency between Rosslare and Cherbourg in the event of a collapse in the talks. Though extra double time needs to be invested in getting the Celtic Interconnector between Ireland and France underway much sooner.

  • Roger

    Agree with the point save that UKNI is a region and not a state. They and others ought to drop ‘the Republic’ malarkey while they’re at it too.

  • Barneyt

    Would special status cement NI or act as a stepping stone for unification? Given Arlenes response I assume the latter. I can see why there was a resounding rejection as this would set a precedent. The uk I suppose has to be treated as a whole. This statement suggests to me that the eu desire to protect the GFA is a mere platitude and they will not try to make this exit easy. I’m not sure it also represents a body blow the sf either. Now the NI issue has been pushed back into the hands of the uk and it’s up to the ROI and uk to resolve should hard brexit emerge. For those that believe that agitation and pain will bring about reunification they may welcome this.

    On the “north” versus ” NI” thing, using the former term is both a rejection of partition and in some ways a rejection of fact and reality. If Irish nationalism sees Northern Ireland as the north of Ireland then perhaps their fight is done and partition was just a bad dream. In my view nationalist should use the latter form and remind themselves that the political project is unfinished. How can you dismantle something you don’t recognise? It also demonstrates that they will comply with internationally agreed boundaries and identifiers used. Spiritually however it feels better even if it does shroud matters in hand. But no uk advocate can slate the use of the term “the north of Ireland” when the entire uk/Britain/Ulster thing is up the left anyhow. Let’s continue with widespread confusion or get it right entirely.

  • Oggins

    Ooo so very special…well I am a creep 😉

  • Georgie Best

    The UK is responsible for NI and the GFA, and they are full of big talk about seamless borders and the like, but they they have resolutely refused to put any proposal of any sort as to how this is all going to work.

  • SDLP supporter

    This is so bloody tiresome. Sinn Fein are like children, and they should grow up. On tv programmes here, people like that insufferably sanctimonious twit Declan Kearney bandy about phrases like ‘the twenty six counties’ and other supporters refer to the ‘Free State’. Kearney et al know that they would get their lights kicked out in the Dail if they used such terms.

  • SDLP supporter

    This is so bloody tiresome. Sinn Fein are like children, and they should grow up. On tv programmes here, people like that insufferably sanctimonious twit Declan Kearney bandy about phrases like ‘the twenty six counties’ and other supporters refer to the ‘Free State’. Kearney et al know that they would get their lights kicked out in the Dail if they used such terms.

  • Damien Mullan

    I’ve never voted for Sinn Fein thus far, I’m only 32, but so far I’ve only voted for SDLP candidates in my 12 years as a registered voter. That’s not to say I’m ideologically bound to the SDLP, I could see myself in certain circumstances at some future election voting for a Sinn Fein candidate, but given I’m not overly found of populism, I’d say that it would take a change of course in Sinn Fein economic policy to convince me to vote for their platform and candidates.

    Now all that said, I do find myself, and often hear continually, nationalist political representatives north and south, whether in the Assembly here or in the Houses of the Oireachtas, using the interchangeable terms, ‘the North’, ‘Northern Ireland’, and, ‘the six counties’. RTE uses ‘the North’ ubiquitously to describe Northern Ireland, indeed, I hear it on RTE Radio, Newstalk, Today FM, I also hear it being used by the political correspondents of The Irish Times and The Irish Independent, perhaps not in print, but when discussing this region on Prime Time or The Week in Politics and other forums.

    I can’t say the phrase, the ‘twenty six counties’, is one I hear often, if ever, I’m fairly sure that that phrase is most often, if I’m not mistaken, used almost exclusively by some republicans, and perhaps most dissidents.

    As for the ‘Free State’, I do confess, I hear this being used regularly, though I don’t use it, nor do I hear it being used by those of my generation or younger, I do often hear it from those of an older generation, my mother and father, both of whom are in their 70’s, and my late grandmother, slip in and out of using it, though to be fair, they are not particularly consistent in the name used for the south, although ‘Eire’ is never used, even though it succeeded the ‘Free State’, I not sure if I’ve ever talked to my father about ‘Eire’ as a usage, but I don’t think it caught on with the nationalist community here in the north, not when ‘the South’ and the ‘Free State’ had already been absorbed into the vocabulary. I must say, I do often hear work colleagues from a unionist background use the phrase ‘Free State’ when they talk of customers from ROI, again it’s not uniform, some days they will use ‘the Republic’, at other times ‘the South’, and often enough ‘Free State’, though again, I have observed that this tends to be work colleagues of a certain older generation.

    So in conclusion, I think the ‘Free State’ usage tends to signify generational difference, rather than its usage being based on religious-political difference, between unionists and nationalists, or between nationalists and republicans. As I say, it tends to be a generational difference.

    As for ‘the twenty six counties’, I never used it, nor do I hear it used often, apart from within some quarters of republicanism.

    Now the use of ‘the North’ and ‘the South’ is ubiquitous in nationalist circles across this island. By all political parties, and indeed at times I’ve heard unionist politicians slip up and use the term ‘the South’, but never of course ‘the North’, but with every mistaken use of ‘the South’, they almost validate nationalist usage of ‘the North’, for surely every South has a corresponding North. But lets not get into a Freudian examination of that quagmire.

  • Roger

    Absolutely. It’s insulting to the peoples of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

  • Roger

    ‘Eire’ didn’t succeed the Free State. ‘Ireland’ did. Your post is in English after all. You refer to ROI…but remember if your looking for an initialism, more properly it’s IRL. It’s on the car the plates too. There’s Ireland and the United Kingdom. There’s Ireland’s Border Region and the United Kingdom’s Northern Ireland region.