Region Archives: UK

Logo_brexit_new_size2

“the UK does not want to see border posts for any purpose…”

Quickly, here’s a resume of Theresa May’s piece in the Irish News today: On the citizenship rights guaranteed by the Belfast Agreement, our position is clear. Northern Ireland remains an integral part of the United Kingdom, but it is also the permanent birthright of the people of Northern Ireland to hold both British and Irish more…

Some bold solutions, several welcome “principles” on dealing with the Irish border. The British paper in full is a serious document

The British paper on the border is at last the meaty  document  long called for. It makes a several  bold and practical suggestions for a seamless border  but leaves much up in the air, laying down “ principles” for future negotiations. Many of these  go far beyond the Irish border issues to the heart of more…

The 70th anniversary of the 1947 Education Act has lessons for the DUP

On a different tack the Bel Tel recently published a second article showing unionists in government in a more favourable light. This time it’s an article by Prof Graham  Walker of QUB  on the 70th anniversary of the the passage of the 1947 Education Act.  Would that today’s Stormont could agree on effective measures to more…

More than a hint of things to come on the Irish border

Once this period expires, the UK will look to agree either a “highly streamlined” border with the EU, or a new “partnership” with no customs border at all. This is the most optimistic reading of London’s proposal for “a temporary customs union.” introduced by David.  It gives a pretty broad clue of what they’ll propose more…

Customs 1

UK Government publishes its Customs Union proposals

The UK Government has begun producing a serious of papers outlining its post-Brexit vision for relations between the UK and the European Union. The 14 page document outlines how the UK will seek a transitional period before attempting to set up a system that gives it basically the same access that it has now. There more…

“in just the same way that nationalists in Northern Ireland can’t permanently settle for their Irish/nationalist identity being simply recognised and accommodated in part of the United Kingdom…”

In yesterday’s News Letter, Alex Kane, in effect, calls ‘bullshit’ on Sinn Féin’s latest pronoucements on a new united Ireland…  and, perhaps, the political psychosis that unlies their thinking.  That’s without addressing the question of the authority to offer any such constitutional guarantees and/or the willingness, or ability, to deliver them.  [It’s ‘Blue Sky’ thinking! more…

Major survey shows deep confusion in UK opinion over Brexit

Extracts  from the BuzzFeed report Many Remain voters now largely agree that Brexit should mean the UK taking full control over its borders, leaving the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice, and paying only a small “divorce bill” to the EU, according to major new academic research. A groundbreaking project by the London School more…

Active north-south cooperation would be the intelligent unionist response to Sinn Fein’s vision of unity out of Brexit

There has been a delayed reaction of critical comment on the Oireacthas report on the implementation of the Good Friday Agreement in the light of Brexit. The report called for special status for Northern Ireland within the EU but coupled it with a drive to work for unionist consent to a united Ireland. This would more…

President Michael D Higgins at Cloughjordan Ecovillage on Earth Day 2017

Cloughjordan Ecovillage – Another World is Possible for Belfast

Lessons for Belfast Urban Regeneration at Féile an Phobail 2017 By Peadar Kirby & Peter Doran While Ireland was living through the most severe economic collapse of its history since independence, a group of pioneering people were sowing the seeds of a new society through founding the ecovillage of Cloughjordan in County Tipperary. Seeking to more…

Kevin McNamara RIP, champion of an old Labour approach to Ireland

The late prime minister Jim Callaghan was said to have described Kevin McNamara once as “the Fianna Fail member for Kingston upon Hull North”.  Kevin himself recalled how Tony Blair on being elected Labour leader summoned him and told him straight : “I don’t want you in my shadow cabinet.”  At which Kevin rose from more…

Leo Varadkar paper speech at QUB

Leo Varadkar: “we need to build more bridges and fewer borders”

LEO VARADKAR delivered a robust but polite lecture at Queen’s University Belfast this morning, his first public engagement in Northern Ireland in his new role as Taoiseach. The artfully crafted speech quoted local poets and Winston Churchill as well as ending with a positive story that echoed something he’d recently heard Jeffrey Donaldson say in more…

Trouble with Referendums: who is accountable for its delivery?

Nick Cohen makes a point I shared privately with several Leave friends during the EU Referendum campaign last year: Vote Leave dissolved as soon as the contest was won. The referendum thus dispensed with the most basic democratic requirements. The winners were not accountable for the promises they made. In their history of the campaign, more…

The limited case for Kevin

The limited case for Kevin

The Irish Times for which he once wrote and even more significantly the Jewish Council of Ireland have mounted a limited  defence of  Kevin Myers. As I labelled him a disgrace for the bonkers claim that two BBC presenters won bigger contracts because they were Jewish, I’m very happy to carry here the case for more…