Tag Archives: Northern Ireland

Britain’s Biggest Brexit Test Possible Ability to Endure | Instant News

Photographer: Emily Macinnes / Bloomberg

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson likes big projects, but few are as attractive as a proposal for a physical connection in the Irish Sea between Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Whether a multi-billion pound pipeline dream or a sign of ambition befitting the post-Brexit era, a feasibility study is being carried out as part of the government. review on how to better tie the UK and its four constituent nations together. A more pressing concern may be whether one day the relationship can link two independent nations that are no longer part of Great Britain

As Britain marks 100 days since leaving the European Union, disputes have broken out with the continent over issues from customs checks to vaccination shots and financial services.

Domestic tensions raise the specter of a more existential conflict, however, a conflict that will determine whether Johnson’s aim to invade the world under the banner of a revived “Global Britain” is necessary. lowered to the simpler “Global England”.

Scotland will hold an election on May 6 to its parliament in Edinburgh which is voting to determine whether the country has the right to – or needs to – another vote on its constitutional future. Poll recommend The pro-independence Scottish National Party was able to grab a majority, a high standard given the proportional electoral system, and press its demands for a second referendum to secede from Britain.


Nicola Sturgeon launches the SNP election campaign in Glasgow on March 31.

Photographer: Andy Buchannan / AFP / Getty Images

In Northern Ireland, grievances are being treated over its separate treatment from mainland Britain in the Brexit deal concluded between London and Brussels, and the province’s divided past. resurfacing result of. More than 70 police officers were injured in a week of unrest by pro-British loyalists who threw petrol bombs. The polls show a remarkable shift in sentiment for a region so long dominated by its Unionist community, with the majority now saying they want a vote for reunification with the Republic of Ireland in five years.

Even in Wales, which unlike Scotland or Northern Ireland voted with Britain to support Brexit, support for independence has risen during the coronavirus pandemic. Wales is holding elections for its regional assembly on May 6 as well, and it is possible that the ruling Labor Party could share power with the nationalist Plaid Cymru party. The boxes have promise to hold a vote on Welsh independence in five years.

The breakdown of the three-century union has been the subject of speculation for decades, long before Brexit became part of everyday language. On their own, developments in each of the three countries did not necessarily mean revolutionary change, but spoke of shifting cultural identities and varying degrees of political discontent with the center of power in London.

Taken together, it’s hard to ignore the growing feeling that things will inevitably come to a head, whether to reduce unity or strengthen it, and that Brexit has lent those powers to a larger agency.

Boris Johnson Attends Voting Leave General Meeting In London

Boris Johnson speaks at the Vote Leave rally in London in June 2016. His campaign is designed as an attempt to reclaim British sovereignty.

Photographer: Carl Court / Getty Images

“But for Brexit, the unions will be relatively safe, but I’m not really sure right now,” he said Matt Qvortrup, a political science professor at Coventry University who has served as special adviser on British constitutional affairs. Change “will not be the day after tomorrow, but give 10 years.”

The challenge for Johnson, who was the driving force behind the successful campaign to get rid of the EU in what has been called an attempt to reclaim British sovereignty, is how to burn political wounds at home. The dilemma is sharpened by the fact that its Conservatives rule at Westminster, but not in Belfast, Edinburgh or Cardiff, where separate parties are in control, reflecting the different regional preferences of voters under a process known as devolution.

Read More: 100 Days of Brexit: Is It As Bad as ‘Project Fear’ Warns?

The most powerful of these delegated governments is in Scotland, where it administers most of the policy areas important to everyday life, from health and education to transportation and justice. Britain controls areas including foreign affairs, defense and macroeconomic policy.

Johnson has so far refused to give the government-run SNP the official clearance needed to make another referendum watertight, saying the 2014 vote was a once-in-a-generation event. Scotland chose 55% to 45% to remain in the UK, although at the time there was no inkling Britain would leave the EU.

John Prescott and Alistair Darling Join the Scottish Labor Battle Bus

“Yes” and “No” voters ahead of Scotland’s independence referendum in Glasgow, September 2014.

Photographer: Mark Runnacles / Getty Images

The focus now, Johnson said, was on rebuilding from a shared pandemic and that constitutional issues were an unwanted distraction. Conservative Leader Johnson in Scotland, Douglas Ross, said that “it’s a recovery or a referendum. We can’t do both. “He asked other opposition parties to cooperate in several electoral districts to stop the nationalists.

The election campaign was suspended the Friday thereafter Dead of the Queen’s husband, Prince Philip.

Another SNP landslide – the party has been in power since 2007 – will escalate the stalemate with London and, if Edinburgh raises demand, investors could be scared and the pound will take a hit. There are divisions within Johnson’s party over whether his government should continue to ignore Scotland’s calls for independence or try to buy time and offer enough money or more power in the hope that the problem will fade.

The risk is actually getting worse. And the longer this dispute drags on, the more likely it is to be resolved by demographers. Support for independence is highest among Scotland’s youth and voting age at 16.

The Scots never liked the Eton-educated Johnson, whose upper class was clumsy despite the down-to-earth fact problems of Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon.

The crux of Sturgeon’s argument for another independence vote is usually straightforward: Brexit has changed the game. Not a single district in Scotland chose to leave the EU in 2016, but it had to go along with the rest of Great Britain anyway. The years of contention leading up to Brexit on January 31, 2020, were only divisions hardening, with all delegated administrations claiming they were sidelined.


The Scottish National Monument on Calton Hill in Edinburgh on June 27, 2016, days after the Brexit referendum.

Photographer: Oli Scarf / AFP / Getty Images

Some of this anti-Brexit sentiment has been turned into support for the independence struggle. According to a strategy document groomed for the Conservatives and seen by Bloomberg in October, the worry is that there aren’t enough pro-Brexit voters to stand against them.

Emily Gray, who ran pollster Ipsos MORI in Scotland, said it was important for Brexit to be phased in increased support witnessed for independence. The result was “significant doubts in Scotland about the future of trade unions,” he said. “More than half of Scots hope England won’t be in its current form within five years.”

Johnson appears to have a strong argument for unionism in the form of successful vaccine launches in the UK to date. But Sturgeon, not Johnson, is the face of the pandemic war in Scotland, and the first minister said Johnson’s handling of Covid-19, which recorded Europe’s highest death toll, had highlighted the need for full autonomy.

The latest Ipsos MORI poll, taken between March 29 and April 4, projects the SNP will take 70 out of 129 seats in the Scottish Parliament. With the pro-independence Greens seeing a surge in support, the momentum for the referendum looks set to grow. Several other polls have indicated the SNP will fail, but none predicted a pro-union majority.

Against Brexit

There has been a gradual increase in support for Scottish independence since the 2016 EU referendum

Source: Ipsos MORI


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Brexit has threatened peace in Northern Ireland | Europe | Latest news and events from all continents | DW | Instant News

In the 23 years since history Good Friday agreement peace agreement Ending three decades of brutal and bitter conflict in Northern Ireland, concerns that widespread violence could again escalate sharply after the 2016 Brexit referendum.

As Britain prepares to leave the EU, former British prime ministers Tony Blair and John Major are among the politicians most adamant that Brexit can undermine the peace agreement.

Those fears were materialized when riots and chaos erupted in Northern Ireland in late March. Dozens police officer injured since, and that bus hijacked and burned in sharp escalation on Wednesday.

The burning of a bus in Belfast on Wednesday marked a new stage of escalation

‘Irish Sea Border’

Violence began on March 29 in the union enclave of Derry, a city that also has a comfortable Irish nationalist majority. A group of about 40 people, many of them under 18, threw projectiles, including petrol bombs, in the police.

Since then, there have been similar violence in several cities and towns, mostly in trade union areas. The chaos worsened on Wednesday night, when the so-called wall of peace dividing the nationalist community and trade unions in Belfast was breached and clashes broke out involving youth from both sides.

The riots almost exclusively involved union members. The violence has been widely linked to a long-running anger about the Northern Ireland Protocol, a special post-Brexit trade arrangement that has created additional trade barriers between Britain and Northern Ireland.

Many union members believe that the provisions of the protocol, commonly referred to as the “Irish Sea Border,” weaken Northern Ireland’s status within the United Kingdom and draw it closer to the Republic of Ireland, a member state of the EU, making unification of Ireland more likely.

A well-documented shortage of certain products in Northern Ireland in the early months of 2021, as well as other early complications, have exacerbated frustration. The largest loyalist party, the Democratic United Party (DUP), has collected more than 140,000 signatures for a petition calling for the British government to withdraw from the protocol.

The threat of violence quickly surfaced. In January, EU inspections of pet food products arriving at the ports of Belfast and Larne from the UK were temporarily suspended due to concerns that staff carrying out inspections were being intimidated. Port staff threatening graffiti have appeared regularly since the protocol was enforced.

Some union commentators and politicians have suggested that another trigger for the violence was a decision in late March by the Police Service of Northern Ireland not to sue anyone in the main nationalist party, Sinn Fein, due to the fact that many of its main figures attended a funeral in June that broke the rules. pandemic lockdown.

Arlene Foster, the current leader of the DUP and Northern Ireland’s first minister, retweeted a video of a bus being attacked with a petrol bomb on Wednesday and wrote that such actions “only serve to divert focus from the actual lawbreakers in Sinn. Fein.”

Gang work?

The nature of violence so far shows that what happened was not just political protests that went wrong. Many of those involved in police assaults were teenagers or younger. The scene is chaotic, with little way of conveying a coherent political message.

Most of the violence took place in areas where criminal gangs linked to loyal paramilitary groups were the strongest. In a statement issued on Friday, groups representing paramilitary forces such as the Ulster Volunteer Force, Ulster Defense Association and Red Hand Command have denied involvement in the violence.

Several prominent trade union commentators have noted that the violence in these areas coincided with the recent crackdown by the UK government’s Paramilitary Crime Task Force against large gangs selling drugs in the area. In other words: Criminals under serious pressure from law enforcement have exploited real political discontent for their own ends.

Police detain riot shields in Belfast

Riot police have been deployed across Northern Ireland as protests continue

Brexit is the problem

There was deep and genuine discontent in broad swaths of political union over the Northern Irish Protocol. However, Irish nationalist parties such as Sinn Fein and SDLP, as well as the impartial Alliance Party, would argue that the problem is not with protocol but Brexit in the first place.

The implications for Northern Ireland were hardly mentioned during the debate leading up to the referendum. The likes of Blair and Major are notable exceptions in the UK. However, many politicians in the Republic of Ireland issued warnings that a withdrawal vote could have disastrous consequences for Northern Ireland, as did the Alliance Party and Irish nationalist parties.

The problem for DUP in this regard is that it is vigorously campaigning for the Leave vote and even helping to fund “Vote Leave” advertisements in the UK. Then, during the torturous Brexit negotiations, the party rejected a proposed arrangement that would have no impact on trade between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK to push for a tougher Brexit.

During the years between the 2016 vote and Britain’s full departure on January 1, 2021, fears of renewed violence were based on the idea of ​​a return to the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland – something that would inflame nationalists.

Leo Varadkar, the then Prime Minister of the Republic of Ireland, brought a newspaper article about the fatal 1972 attack on a customs post to the 2018 EU Summit to reassure his co-leaders of the need to circumvent the border. In the end, the rise of the harsh borders on the island of Ireland was avoided. But the violence hasn’t happened.

Brexit itself can hardly be blamed for the latest turmoil of a deep sectarian conflict that has raged for more than 400 years. But, since the results of the seismic referendum were confirmed nearly five years ago, it’s clear that at least one community in Northern Ireland’s fragile and complex division is at a disadvantage.

Although most people in Northern Ireland – whether they are nationalists, unionists or not both – were shocked by the violence, hardly anyone was surprised by it.


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Newry.ie – Newry is like being at home in Italy | Instant News

Mario Siotto comes from Sardinia in Italy and came to Newry in 2002. He is here now 19 years old and is happy to be here, because he loves Newry. Mario came to Northern Ireland in 1998 to meet a beautiful woman from Belfast, whom he now calls his wife. When Mario retired from his engineering job in Italy, he lived in Ireland. The reason for choosing Newry was because in 1998 there were many tensions in the North. He and his wife traveled around Northern Ireland looking for a place to live. Mario said, “I thought Newry had a lot to offer and we decided to move to this beautiful city. I can feel that the Newry community is growing together and I know it’s a place for me and my wife. “

At first he was trying to find a job that would contribute to Newry’s fun community. He ended up finding a job at one of the best organizations, St. Vincent de Paul. Who served him very well as it helped those around him.

Mario Siotto. Photo: Columba O’Hare / Newry.ie

Mario was born in Iglesias in Italy and is the ‘baby’ of 8 families! He still has relatives back home. In his early days he worked as a Mining engineer, spending 26 years of his life in Iglesias, but due to an industrial crisis he had to emigrate and retire from his trade.

One of the biggest reasons why Mario loves Newry is that the communities here and behind the house are very similar, to him there is absolutely no difference. Being here feels like home in Italy.

In 2009, he joined the association of St. Vincent de Paul where he worked full time until now. Mario is the Drop in Center Manager at Newry. The Drop in Center in Newry opened in 2010 and through the economic crisis in 2010 the doors were always open, until March 2020 when they closed due to Covid 19. It is with great regret that she can no longer serve hot food for now and makes this a helpful atmosphere. However, he still helps people in need by sending food parcels. Mario is very proud to say that since March 2020 until now they have distributed nearly 9 thousand parcels of food. Mario added “Thank you very much to the fantastic community in Newry who have raised and provided enormous support when it is most needed, for me this is very useful because I love helping others”

Mario is a very kind and helpful man who has a hobby of walking the countryside. Apart from that he had no time or interest in anything other than helping those in need because that was a lie to his heart. He dedicated most of his time to the needy as much as he could. In his spare time, he collects donations for shops.

Being a member of the Newry community, he deeply felt that the city should build shelters for the homeless by saying that “Homeless people are not only people who live on the streets, but also people who face many challenges due to difficult circumstances. I’ve seen a lot of homeless people and that will be very important to me and it will be a very important improvement for Newry. “

Reflecting on Newry if he could change anything it would see more tolerance in the city, because this is so important. There are many people who come to Newry to improve themselves and improve their lives. Mario commented “If we could be more accommodating and more tolerant of each other that would be a huge advantage. Prior to Covid 19 at the Drop in Center, we held English classes for non-English speakers to help them integrate into our society. I believe we have a great community and everyone should respect each other. I would like to see more tolerance and respect in Newry “

Mario concludes “It is very important for me to give something back to this beautiful community because of the way I am treated. I am always welcomed and treated as a member of the community. I call myself” Newry’s adopted son. “I am very happy to be here and just wanted to take advantage of Newry’s abilities for me. “

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Explanation: What’s behind the latest unrest in Northern Ireland? | Instant News

Young people have thrown bricks, fireworks and petrol bombs at police and burned hijacked cars and buses during a week of violence in the streets. Police responded with rubber bullets and water cannons.

The streets were calmer on Friday night, as community leaders asked for calm after the death of Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, 99 years old. But a small group of youths pelted police with objects and set fire to cars during the sporadic outbreak in Belfast.

The chaotic scenes have evoked the memory of decades of the Catholic-Protestant conflict, known as The Troubles. The 1998 peace deal ended large-scale violence but did not resolve deep-rooted tensions in Northern Ireland.

A glimpse of the backdrop of the new violence:


Geographically, is a part of Ireland. Politically, it’s part of Great Britain.

Ireland, long dominated by its larger neighbors, broke free some 100 years ago after centuries of colonization and uneasy unity. Twenty-six of its 32 counties are independent states with a Roman Catholic majority. The six counties in the north, which have a Protestant majority, remain British.

Northern Ireland’s Catholic minority experiences discrimination in employment, housing, and other areas of the Protestant-run state. In the 1960s, the Catholic civil rights movement demanded change, but faced a strong response from the government and police. Some people, both Catholic and Protestant, formed armed groups that escalated the violence by bombing and shooting.

The British Army was deployed in 1969, initially to keep the peace. The situation deteriorated into conflict between the militant republican Ireland who wanted to unite with the south, loyalist paramilitaries trying to keep Northern Ireland into Britain, and British troops.

During the three decades of conflict more than 3,600 people, most of them civilians, died in bombings and shootings. Most of these were in Northern Ireland, although the Irish Republican Army also detonated bombs in London and other British cities.


In the 1990s, after secret talks and with the help of diplomatic efforts by Ireland, Britain and the United States, the fighters reached a peace agreement. The 1998 Good Friday deal saw paramilitaries lay down their weapons and establish a Catholic-Protestant power-sharing government for Northern Ireland. The question of Northern Ireland’s final status was postponed: it would remain with Britain as long as it was the wish of the majority, but a future referendum on reunification was not ruled out.

While the peace has largely persisted, small groups of the Irish Republican Army have carried out occasional attacks on security forces, and there has been sectarian street violence.

Politically, power-sharing arrangements have had times of success and failure. The Belfast administration collapsed in January 2017 due to a failed green energy project. It remained suspended for more than two years amid a rift between British trade unions and Irish nationalist parties over cultural and political issues, including the status of the Irish language. The Northern Irish government returns to work in early 2020, but there is still deep mistrust on both sides.


Northern Ireland has been called the problem child of Brexit, Britain’s divorce from the European Union. As the only part of the UK that has borders with the European Union country, Ireland, it is the toughest issue to resolve after Britain voted narrowly in 2016 to leave the 27-nation bloc.

Ireland’s open borders, where people and goods flow freely, underpin the peace process, allowing people in Northern Ireland to feel at home in Ireland and Great Britain.

The UK Conservative government’s insistence on a tough Brexit that takes the country out of the EU economic order means the creation of new barriers and trade checks. Both the UK and the EU agree that the border should not be in Ireland because of the risks this will pose to the peace process. The alternative is to place it, metaphorically, in the Irish Sea between Northern Ireland and the rest of Great Britain.

The arrangement has worried British union members, who say it weakens Northern Ireland’s place in Britain and could increase calls for Irish reunification.


The violence was mostly in Protestant areas in and around Belfast and Northern Ireland’s second city, London, although the disturbance had spread to Catholic circles.

Britain left the EU’s economic arms on December 31, and new trade arrangements quickly irked Northern Irish union members who wanted to stay in the UK. Initial trade disruptions, exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic, left several supermarket shelves empty, sparking alarms. Border staff temporarily withdrew from a Northern Irish port in February after threatening graffiti appeared to target port workers.

There is anger that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, long insisting there will be no new checks on trade as a result of Brexit, has underestimated the scale of change wrought by leaving the EU. Some British loyalist communities in Northern Ireland feel their identity is under threat.

Many loyalists believe that, de facto, Northern Ireland is no longer part of Britain as it used to be, Ulster University politics professor Henry Patterson told Sky News.

(Only the title and image of this report may have been reworked by Business Standards staff; other content was generated automatically from syndicated feeds.)


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Ireland has yet to accept UK offer of Covid vaccine, but is ‘happy to receive overdose’ | Instant News

GOVERNMENT SOURCES SAY The UK government has not been in contact with its Irish counterparts regarding any reported plans to supply the Republic of Ireland with an excess of the Covid-19 vaccine.

While the suggestion was described as ‘speculation’, one source added that such an offer would likely be accepted.

As the Irish launch struggled to build up power due to poor and intermittent supply, British efforts continued at a much greater speed, leading to speculation that the oversupply could continue.

Ireland is due to accept increase the number of vaccines over the coming weeks through an existing EU purchase agreement.

The Sunday Times reported this morning the UK plans to supply Ireland with 3.7 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine.

It relies on sufficient supplies to provide a second dose to the adult population in Great Britain, and may only be ‘after Easter’.

Decrease in Great Britain’s own supply expected in April.

The paper reports that the intention to share supplies is primarily to underpin plans to ease restrictions in Northern Ireland, where launches have progressed further than in the Republic, and to avoid a third wave of infections there.

It will also represent the UK’s first export of vaccine to the European Union.


A senior government source said Journal last night that they were “unaware” of any offers being made or even contacts being made about potential bids, describing the plan as “speculation”.

Two senior sources noted Britain is still vaccinating its own population, and even if spare parts are available, it will still be some time before it is shared with Ireland.

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One source said Ireland would be happy to accept such an offer if made, but added that vaccine supplies from the European Union would increase significantly over the next four to six weeks, leaving Ireland with a sufficient quantity of vaccine.

RTÉ News report this morning Northern Ireland’s First Minister Arlene Foster spoke with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson about plans to share vaccine supplies with Ireland.

Foster told the broadcaster he believed the overdose “should, and hopefully will” be dispensed with, but only after the UK launch itself was complete.

Ireland has so far delivered the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine to 11.1% of its population, compared with 38% in Northern Ireland and around 45% in the United Kingdom as a whole.

The UK has accelerated this by delaying administration of second doses of some vaccines.

With reporting by Christina Finn


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