Northern Ireland

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The twentieth anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement has been overshadowed by questions concerning the Irish border and the relationship between the North and South of Ireland in the wake of Brexit. Patrick Utz reflects on the volatile relationship between Northern Ireland’s communities and European integration.

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The Irish border has proved to be one of the most intractable aspects of Brexit, says Michael Keating, and the proposals put forward by the UK Government show little signs of being endorsed by Dublin or, as a result, Brussels. 
 
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The current compromise on the border issue between Northern Ireland and the Republic relies on a subsequent technocratic fix, which, says Michael Keating,  provides ample material for arguments in the course of the next round of negotiations. 
 
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The challenges presented by an international border on the island of Ireland has been highlighted as a key challenge in Brexit negotiations but, says Prof Janice Morphett, a solution may already exist in the shape of European Groupings for Territorial Cooperation (EGTCs).
 
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Mary C. Murphy, University College Cork, urges caution in linking Northern Ireland support for remaining in the EU with growing support for a united Ireland.

In 1998, the Northern Ireland electorate voted in a historic referendum to support the Good Friday/Belfast Agreement. The Agreement was reached following multi-party talks and was an integral part of the Northern Ireland peace process. Turnout for the referendum was 81%. Of those who voted, 71% voted in support of the Agreement.

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  • 20th July 2018

    Richard Parry reviews a fast-evolving situation as the march of time and need to reconcile rhetoric and practicality constrain policy-makers

  • 13th July 2018

    The White Paper published this week talks about the UK Government making ‘sovereign decisions’ to adopt European rules but, as we know from the experience of Norway and Switzerland, this can be an illusory sovereignty when the costs of deviating from the rules is exclusion from the single market or European programmes. CCC Director Professor Michael Keating looks at whether the UK is ready for this kind of deal.

  • 12th July 2018

    Last week the government released its fisheries white paper. While most of the fisheries and Brexit debate centres on quotas and access to waters, there is also an important devolution dimension. Brexit already has profound consequences for the UK’s devolution settlement and fisheries policy is one example of this. So, in addition to communicating its overall vision for post-Brexit fisheries policy, the white paper was also an opportunity for the government to set out how it would see that policy working in the devolved UK.

  • 4th July 2018

    At the same time as Parliament prepares to ‘take back control’ from Brussels, the executive is in fact accruing to itself further control over the legislative process. CCC Fellow Professor Stephen Tierney addresses a number of trends – only some of which are a direct consequence of the unique circumstances of Brexit – which suggest a deeper realignment of institutional power within the constitution and a consequent diminution of Parliament’s legislative power.

  • 27th June 2018

    Faced with a choice between splitting her Cabinet into winners and losers, Theresa May has sought to keep the Brexit crap game going. She does this by avoiding betting on either a hard or soft Brexit. Professor Richard Rose of Strathclyde looks at the high stakes outcomes facing the Prime Minister. .

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