Region Archives: EU

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Spain prevents Catalan independence leaders from taking office

The elections to the Catalan Parliament were just over 3 weeks ago but rather than lead to any settled political outcome in Barcelona problems look set to continue. Pro-independence parties again won an overall majority of seats but will the Spanish establishment permit all of those deputies to take up their seats and fulfil their mandate? more…

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” Change should not be allowed to weaken the relationships so painstakingly put together across these British Isles. “

DUP Leader Rt. Hon. Arlene Foster MLA speaking at the inaugural Killarney Economic Conference this morning. Whilst the referendum was a vote by the British people, the ripples that flow from the referendum result will be far reaching with long-term implications for people well beyond the shores of the United Kingdom.  And I appreciate and more…

“As with the hardest essay questions, there is no right answer but many wrong ones.”

Writing in the Guardian, “former Downing Street Brexit spokesperson”, Matthew O’Toole [no relation – Ed] has some intelligent, and interesting, things to say about “the psychology of imagined identity” here, and the task facing the new Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Karen Bradley, as well as the UK Prime Minister in the next phase of more…

Good Queen Tess

PM Tess and Good Queen Bess

Theresa May has made much of being a vicar’s daughter in seeking to build her image. Less remarked on is that she is from a particular sub-tradition within the Church of England, and so deeply formed by it that its particular take on English history will shape how she sees the UK’s relationship with mainland more…

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Nothing since the referendum has shifted the identities that underpinned the result…

Interesting piece from Professor Wynn Jones of Cardiff University on the role of competing identities unwriting the Brexit result in June 2017, which offers clues as to why attitudes are unlikely to change not least because cultural certainties will likely withstand economic hardship… Nothing since the referendum has shifted the identities that underpinned the result more…

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“The prospect written between the lines of this week’s letter is of Sinn Féin sidelining itself….”

I Newton Emerson points out the irony of that letter Chris blogged the other day, signed by 200 members of nationalist civil society. “We appeal urgently to you Taoiseach,” it concludes, “and to the Irish Government, to reassure us of your commitment to stand for equality and a human-rights based society and your determination to more…

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Westminster asserts its power over the executive and Whitehall

To all those who think Westminster is irrelevant, last night’s development could prove significant, if not actually decisive… Boom!! Government defeated… Brexit is in the hands of our Parliament, not Executive whim. pic.twitter.com/z4JqQJABig — Mike Galsworthy #FBPE (@mikegalsworthy) December 13, 2017 It certainly won’t bring the government down, but it WILL give the DUP and more…

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We are so used to seeing Northern Ireland politics as a zero-sum game that it’s hard to acknowledge a political deal which might benefit everyone.

Jon Tonge is a Professor of Politics at the University of Liverpool. He is the author of The Democratic Unionist Party: From Protest to Power. Oxford: Oxford University Press. We are so used to seeing Northern Ireland politics as a zero-sum game that it’s hard to acknowledge a political deal which might benefit everyone. That more…

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Unionist assurances come with a sacrifice of certainty…

Amidst all the hype, some reality from Irish Times veteran, Paddy Smith… The Northern Ireland provisions of the agreement signed on Friday morning between the European Commission and the UK sacrifice a degree of certainty about how the frictionless Border will be sustained for reassurances to the unionist community that they will not be treated more…

Polling Matters: What do the DUP want?

Myself and Kieran Pedley chunking through the various polls and issues around the DUP and Brexit. What we didn’t anticipate was the very swift conclusion of Phase 1 talks. I’ve outlined three things they want: a frictionless border; best possible trade deal with Europe (a key aid to the first); and the U.K. (including NI) more…

“The fact that all of the other parties in the Dáil rallied around to wave the green flag on Tuesday demonstrates not that the Government got it right but that it successfully pandered to populist sentiment”

In the Irish Times, Stephen Collins on the risks involved in the Irish Government’s public positioning over the ongoing Brexit negotiations.  From the Irish Times article The British government and the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) are the ones primarily responsible for Monday’s debacle, but the Irish Government didn’t exactly cover itself in glory. The way more…

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Brexit and the British Empire

A spectre is haunting Europe. No, not that one. An uglier, messier one by far; the spectre of Empire. And if Europe is the haunted house in this metaphor, the UK is the creaking stairway where the spectre appears, Northern Ireland where you fancy you can hear it whisper in your ear. Brexit has shone more…

“I never could, and still cannot all these months later, get any clarity on how exactly we proposed to take back control”

The MP for North Down, Lady Hermon (the only pro-Remain voice within the Commons chamber from Northern Ireland) delivered a passionate speech today about the Good Friday Agreement and the process of leaving the European Union. There has been some focus on the encounter with Nigel Dodds but some other noteworthy exchanges are here; Let more…

“ambiguity… appears to have led Dublin and Brussels to interpret it as a maximalist position, while the DUP believed or were led to believe that it would or could be minimalist.”

The parlous state of the Brexit negotiations has been generating more than the usual level of idle speculation, and arrant nonsense. [Including on Slugger? – Ed] No names, no pack drill… But there are some intelligent points being made, in some places, which are worth keeping in mind – if you are actually thinking about more…