Wobbles on the backstop and an eventual Fianna Fail- SDLP merger are new features of the countdown to the day of Brexit reckoning

As Sammy Wilson was among the first to remind us, Brexit wars have resumed again after the Christmas pause.  Theresa May has just promised no delay to the meaningful vote scheduled for the week after next. But she declined to speculate on extending Article 50 if as expected MPs finally vote down the withdrawal agreement with the Irish backstop. According to  the Irishman who is professor of Constitutional and EU law at University College London, Ronan McCrea..    the UK … Read more

500 days without a government – Do we really care?

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Today marks 500 days without a government in Northern Ireland. There is a handy website that tracks the days. We only have 89 days to go till we beat the Belgium record (we can do it!). I suspect I am not the only one who could not give a monkies. There are no massive public protests, more a collective shrug of the shoulders. Personally, I am enjoying the quiet. What is interesting is even without a government, life rumbles on … Read more

The direct Westminster route to abortion reform is not the one to follow. It’s time for civil society to step up to the plate

Northern Ireland as a place apart over abortion rights has exposed many English MPs to the complexities of devolution for the first time over something they care about deeply, so much so that they seemed at first to dismiss them altogether. There is a precedent of a kind.  On Brexit Westminster is ignoring the SNP government’s refusal to assent to the terms of EU withdrawal on the grounds that this is a reserved matter for Westminster. Although  abortion rights are … Read more