Region Archives: UK

Environmental Governance Failure in Northern Ireland: High Time to Turn Over a New Leaf

By Ciara Brennan, Ray Purdy and Peter Hjerp Recent scandals including the RHI debacle and the discovery of illegal dumping on a massive scale (most notably at the Mobuoy Road ‘super-dump’) have catapulted Northern Ireland’s environmental governance failures into the public eye. The divergence from what can be considered ‘good’ environmental governance is clear and the more…

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Where “shared memory” and “story” meet lies something valuable

I was lucky enough to be asked by Youth Action Northern Ireland to present a workshop at their two-day Islands of Innovation conference/symposium attended by young leaders (18-35) yesterday in Belfast. The key purpose was to “explore what Britain and Ireland could look like in 2021, consider how they can contribute and assess what decisions more…

Ten more years! Ten more years!

Having been billed in advance as ‘significant’, there’s been a noticeable absence of applause from the usual suspects for the recently re-announced, but yet to be revealed, Gerry Adams’ Sinn Féin’s 10 year plan for leadership change a “process of generational change”.  [Do those ‘suspects’ know who they are? – Ed] Probably… [And does ’10 years’ more…

Passport control at Heathrow. (C) Dannyman on Flickr under CC 2.0.

What the Immigration Proposal Leak Tells Us

Whoever leaked the government’s outline plans for post-Brexit immigration arrangements yesterday has told us one thing – that the infighting at the top ranks of the Conservative Party is vicious and will be ongoing for the foreseeable. The papers could only have been leaked on instructions from the very top of the government. Those at more…

Kerensky as War Minister, 1917.

#Brexit: A Revolution Drifting Towards Failure

It is a matter of historical fact that most attempted revolutions fail. Sometimes the ancient regime reasserts itself in a counter-revolution. In other cases, the revolution clears away a creaking old order only to be itself swept away by a third force. The two most significant revolutions of the 20th Century were of the latter more…

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Lessons from the Brexit debacle for our Executive debacle

On 10th April next year, familiar political figures and dignitaries (some with slightly less unscathed reputations than others) will gather in Belfast to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the Good Friday (Belfast) Agreement. Northern Ireland is already in the middle of a veritable feast of commemorations, all of which illustrate the entanglement of its history more…

Signs that plates are shifting over Brexit?

While not exactly a flood tide, the case for Irexit made by economist Ray Kinsella has become a trickle of two. With a few distinguished exceptions, “official” Ireland has bought into the “spin”’. It has made the European Union the custodian of our national interests. It has ceded its responsibility for negotiations on our future relationship with more…

“Women in Northern Ireland continue to be discriminated against.”

With the Northern Ireland Department of Health refusing to update guidance to health professionals here regarding pregnancy terminations, despite the changes to UK policy announced earlier this year, in the Guardian Goretti Horgan, a lecturer in social policy at Ulster University and a founder member of Alliance for Choice in Northern Ireland, argues for change to more…

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“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…

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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…