“The Irish Government will not be negotiating on behalf of Northern Ireland”

In case you were wondering what the Brexit ’10-point plan’ was that the BBC reported the North South Ministerial Council agreed today, it’s in the final joint communique of 4th July [pdf file] FINANCIAL AND EU MATTERS [Implications of UK Referendum] 8. The Council had a detailed discussion on the potential impact of the UK referendum result to leave the EU. In order to optimise joint planning and engagement on key issues arising following the UK referendum result, the NSMC: …

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“future banknote designs, starting with the new polymer £5 note, will explicitly represent all four nations of the UK.”

As mentioned in this BBC report focused on the first Bank of England polymer banknote – a £5 note featuring Sir Winston Churchill which will be issued in 2016. Banknotes will feature images from all four nations of the UK starting with the new £5 note entering circulation in 2016. [Timing, eh? – Ed]  Eh?  From the Bank of England press release Chief Cashier, Victoria Cleland said: “The Bank is delighted with the number and breadth of the nominations we …

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DUP confusion on First Minister post?

Until recently the DUP has played down the danger of Martin McGuinness becoming First Minister. They had suggested that this election was not about such things but about the economy, jobs etc. and have recently listed their “40 achievements in 4 years.” Last year Ian Paisley seemed less than worried by the prospect of Martin McGuinness as First Minister. Now, however, Peter Robinson has announced that who gets the First Ministership is a matter of vital importance and that the …

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Paisley and Prospero mark 2

This week Dr. Paisley left Stormont for the last time as an elected member of the Assembly. This is an update of a blog I did almost three years ago but I thought I would recycle it: At the end of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Prospero turns to the audience and says “Now my charms are all o’erthrown And what strength I have’s mine own.” Now at the end, it seems, of his political career (though he does of course remain …

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Unionist Pacts: yet again

There have long been discussions and suggestions regarding the possibility of a unionist pact: the suggestion seems to be as old as the splits within unionism. Indeed although some “liberal” or “progressive” unionists deride the idea, the reality is that the suggestion has very significant popularity throughout the unionist electorate. In the past I have suggested that unionist civility rather than unionist unity would be a good idea. Now, however, there seems to be the possibility of the opposite: unionist …

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Robinson to remain NI First Minister

The BBC reports that DUP MLAs and MPs have emerged from their meeting today having unanimously endorsed Peter Robinson as party leader and Northern Ireland First Minister – despite that Portillo moment. Pete Baker