There are enough troubles over the seas and between the British Islands. It isn’t enough that a Northern Irish political party is forming a coalition with the Conservative Party. The Tories and Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) that is enough for breaking the impartiality in the devolution and following the Good Friday Agreement alone. But there are other parts of the Belfast Agreement or Good Friday Agreement that get touched in the possible break-up between the European Union and United Kingdom, which has the Northern Ireland as part of it. Therefore, the released report from House of the Oireachtas is important. What the reports point at is all the aspects that will affect the Northern Ireland and their citizens. As well, as the promised possibilities of movement of people and goods between Northern Ireland and Ireland. The Republic of Ireland and United Kingdom is jointly part of the Good Friday, they both have responsibilities towards the peace process and the devolution in Northern Ireland.
But to not put word in the mouth of the report. The issues it address, it does well on it is own!
“For Strand 1 (Assembly and Executive), the question arises of whether powers held now at EU level will be devolved unchanged to the Assembly if the UK passes a ‘Great Repeal Bill’ intended to repatriate powers from the EU to the UK. Should it be decided to first change and then devolve these powers (e.g. in relation to employment rights or environmental standards), it is possible that there would be implications for the rights guaranteed by the Good Friday Agreement” (…) “For Strand 2 (North-South cooperation) it has been noted that the limited scope of the North South Ministerial Council (NSMC) and North-South implementation bodies means that much of their focus at present centres on EU-related work, for example management of EU funding and coordination on compliance with EU regulations. If Brexit means there is no longer an EU focus to Strand 2 the question arises as to how to ensure this Strand remains meaningful. It has been suggested that Strand 2 might provide a mechanism for enhanced North-South cooperation in the event of Brexit” (Houses of the Oireachtas, P: 11, 2017).
“In total, since its inception 21 years ago the PEACE programme has provided over €2.2bn for important reconciliation work in Northern Ireland and the Irish border region, and INTERREG, since its inception 25 years ago, has provided over €1.1bn to encourage cross border cooperation in job creation and infrastructure development in Ireland, Northern Ireland and Western Scotland” (Houses of the Oireachtas, P: 23, 2017). “One of the main concerns expressed by many witnesses is the future of PEACE and INTERREG when the current programmes finish in 2020. The Committee notes and welcomes the UK Government’s commitment to guarantee EU funding until the end of 2020 but the uncertainty after that period is deeply worrying” (Houses of the Oireachtas, P: 24, 2017).
“Now, more than ever before in the face of such political and economic uncertainty and instability in Northern Ireland, the importance of programmes that address issues such as intercommunity conflict, reconciliation, cross border cooperation and relationships, the development of infrastructure and jobs, needs to be recognised and these programmes protected. The Committee urges the Government to ensure the matter of EU funding for Northern Ireland and the border region remains high on the agenda and an expeditious solution is found for successor programmes after 2020” (Houses of the Oireachtas, P: 26, 2017).
“The statements of the UK Government and the European Union acknowledging the importance of not returning to a hard border are welcome. Yet the uncertainty around what arrangements will be put in place and how these might affect trade flows, businesses with branches on both sides, movement of people living on one side and working in another is already taking a heavy toll. Brexit has also sharpened the focus on the immense gains of an invisible border, gains that for many had been heretofore taken for granted and underestimated but that are now keenly appreciated as their existence becomes threatened. These include economic gains (see the unemployment statistics below), as well as social, cultural and most importantly psychological gains” (Houses of the Oireachtas, P: 27, 2017).
“This weakness is likely to be compounded by Brexit with an expected reduction in cross border trade and economic cooperation, loss of FDI and loss of EU economic development funding. Northern Ireland’s anticipated 12.5% corporation tax rate was expected to boost inward investment however this was largely predicated on continued EU membership and access to the single market. The Committee further heard that the Brexit vote had already brought a considerable degree of uncertainty which is negatively impacting businesses and SMEs and is likely to remain for years. Businesses are less likely to invest in an unstable climate and Brexit is already creating barriers to the efficient conduct of business. Smaller businesses (SMEs) dependent on exports to Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK are being particularly badly hit” (Houses of the Oireachtas, P: 28, 2017).
“The Common Travel Area predates Irish and British EU membership. It allows for free movement of Irish and British citizens between the islands of Ireland and Great Britain and guarantees the rights of Irish and British citizens to live and work in each other’s jurisdictions. However, there is no precedent for its operation with one State inside the EU and the other outside it” (Houses of the Oireachtas, P: 30, 2017).
“The Committee acknowledges that much progress has been made but there remains a long way to go in addressing many outstanding legacy issues, dealing with ongoing justice and security matters and breaking down barriers and divisions between communities, both at a psycho-social level and in terms of access to services. Northern Ireland still faces enduring challenges of building and restoring inter-community harmony and addressing the legacy of its troubled history. It should be noted that the issue of sectarianism remains a significant problem in Northern Ireland. According to Cooperation Ireland, 95% of social housing in Northern Ireland is segregated; just 5% of children go to integrated schools. There were 18 so-called “peace walls” before the Good Friday Agreement, but there were 88 of them in 2008 – an incredible 70 additional walls erected since the Good Friday Agreement” (Houses of the Oireachtas, P: 34, 2017).
“The Good Friday Agreement, in effect, provided equal identity to all. Many have availed of their right to hold an Irish passport. This gives rise to the unprecedented situation in which several hundred thousand Irish citizens, resident in Northern Ireland, will, overnight, and in most cases against their will, find themselves outside the European Union. As noted by Cooperation Ireland, “leaving the EU could raise issues of identity in ways that none of us can yet see.” (…) “Dr Morrow further cautioned that “unilateralism in the context of the Good Friday Agreement and uncertainty are both really serious and significant issues, all of which have potentially very major knock-on effects in a context of fragility.” (Houses of the Oireachtas, P: 35, 2017).
“Brexit must not be a distraction from the important work of reconciliation, the full implementation of the Good Friday Agreement, addressing legacy issues and building cooperation. Northern Ireland’s concerns for stability and a continuing and seamless expression of Irish citizenship and identity require a unique answer and focus. We cannot see restrictions on movement of people again. Brexit is already having a psychological impact. It is absolutely essential to ensure there is no diminution or unravelling of the still fragile peace process. Dialogue must be encouraged at all times, between all parties and stakeholders within Northern Ireland, and on an all island basis” (House of the Oireachtas, P: 36, 2017).
Clearly, the Brexit implicates the Northern Irish very much not only the impartiality of the Tories government with a DUP infused powered cabinet. The Tories have to make sure the Good Friday Agreement are respected as part of the negotiations in the Brexit agreements. Therefore, the movement of Northern Irish together with a soft border between the Republic and the Northern Ireland is important. As both states United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland has stakes in Northern Ireland. The citizenship and devolution has to work together with becoming independent from the European Union. That is a hard bargain. The dialogue between the parties in Northern Ireland and the Tories government.
We can just see how the much all parties will respect the Good Friday Agreement, if the United Kingdom or the European Union together with their Member State Republic of Ireland want’s to honor the Northern Irish constituents. Certainly, the negotiations are just starting as the Brexit time table is only beginning for the Tories and their team. However, the Good Friday Agreement and the implications should be well-known for the United Kingdom and European Union. Therefore, to respect the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, should be very important, so that the state of affairs and the peaceful progress of the Belfast Agreement can implemented and also create a sustainable peace. There are enough stirring waters already, doesn’t need questionable behavior from London to make it worse. But that is only what time would tell. Clearly, the Tories government has to either sink or swim, but no matter what their feet will get wet. Peace.
Houses of the Oireachtas – ‘Joint Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement – The Implications of Brexit for the Good Friday Agreement: Key Findings’ (June 2017).
Theresa May is still struggling to have a majority government, as he the Queens Speech are happening within hours. The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) is playing hard with them and showing them how to negotiate. As they know they have most of the leverage and what Prime Minister Theresa May needs after a flawed and botched election campaign.
The Conservative Party under PM May looks like chaos and talks like chaos. Brexit Minister David Davis had to give way and accept the terms of the European Union, since the Cabinet and Parliament isn’t put into play yet, as the Queen hasn’t blessed the hallow halls in London. Certainly, the minority power of Northern Ireland is now playing with her.
Theresa May are clearly between rocks and no soft spaces. She is stuck between either a worse place or axing. Even as the disarray and uncertainty is not the stable government she pledged during the election, neither the reason for the election in the first place. The Tories isn’t building bridges or structures worth trust. More making sure they stay in office, than actually having plans and things in order. Just like it was revealed after the Brexit Referendum election, the Brexiteers who was running the campaign like Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson really had white paper on how to leave the Union. Instead, that has come in the months after the campaign and it has been very light reading.
The Tories, PM May are hanging by the thread since the 10 MPs that gives majority to Conservative Government is clearly not an easy buy-out for power. Since Arlene Foster now officially can control the Tories and their agenda for the next term. That is why the Queen has to be in the sorry state, where the Prime Minister and the Cabinet cannot inform her on the policy changes or more constructive legislation to speak-off. Since we don’t know if they are going to have orange marches in Oxford and London now. As a part of the agreement between Tories and DUP. They could even offer the most amazing infrastructure plan for Northern Ireland and lax border-control between Ireland and Northern Ireland. But who knows what sort of way the Tories has go to please the DUP?
Certainly, DUP can push their policies and what they need to deliver to their constituencies. The same can be said by the Tories, but the Tories are the partner who needs DUP. Not the other way around. The DUP and Tories if they are going together has lose key causes. That is the normal for any sort of agreement between two political parties forming a government or a coalition. If it wasn’t giving and taking, it would be one-party majority who did as they pleased. Something the Tories did until the election, which is ironic.
Arlene Foster can bushwhack London government and with full velocity, something they have clearly already done. The sources to Sky News and BBC News hasn’t been hopeful today, and seemingly, the chaos that May promised the voters if they voted for either SNP, Lib-Dems or Labour, has happen to her. It has hit the Tories like a wrecking-ball, we can just wait now for the back-stabbing and the ugly internal notes leaking to the press. This will describe the in-fighting and centralized control under May.
It isn’t only that DUP have control of the coalition, but the problems it can create in the negotiations after the peace-agreements in Northern Ireland and the National Assembly of Stormont. The outspoken Sinn Fein and others has their rights to be skeptic about the whole arrangement. The impartiality is out of the window with the clear gateway into Cabinet policy in London. The Belfast and Northern Ireland Peace Agreements are torn when the ink on the paper between DUP and Tories are official. That historical document will seal the definition of London Accord of forgetting the Good Friday Agreement.
Certainly, we will then officially know what is the most important for the Tories, not the United Kingdom, neither stability for the British Isle’s, only keeping themselves in power, and that by any means. Since they haven’t had good and thorough plans for Brexit, neither for the coalition, therefore the Tories are stumbling from one crisis into another. With all of this they might start eating “a whole other kettle of fish”. But as long as May stay in power the Tories thinks they are fine. But the Brexit negotiations might be hard and troubling as 7000 deals with the European Union (EU) has to be finalized during the next two years. At the same time they now has to consider more often the implications of the peace agreements in Northern Ireland and also kiss the ring of Arlene Foster.
Certainly, this will not be a walk in the park. This will be hurdle after hurdle. Wonder when it going to end and how this story is ending in certain peace. Since the Tories, PM May and Foster are clearly playing with high-stakes and not considering the implications of their actions. Since they just reacts and trying to save face by any means! Peace.
It is come to many ones ears what sort of reality the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) is living in, as she is now a power-broker in London and in Belfast. As her steady relationship with Ireland is also needed. Therefore, that she states this about Brexit, seems a bit far fetched, but let’s take a bit of look into her words:
“She described her meeting with Mr Varadkar as “very useful and pleasant” (…) “We want to see a Brexit that works for everybody, not just in Northern Ireland from my perspective but in the Republic of Ireland as well, so it is about a sensible Brexit,” she said. “I know people want to talk about soft Brexit, hard Brexit, all of these things but what we want to see is a sensible Brexit and one that works for everybody.” (BBC, 2017).
Conservative Party or the Tories under the leadership of Theresa May have to work directly with Arlene Foster. It is not Prime Minister May has come with Red, White and Blue Brexits, talked about hard or soft Brexit. They have come with all sort of combo’s that even a fast-food restaurants would be proud of. Like you can pick between a set-meal or add different sides.
It is not like there will be guidelines from Brussels, like the Member States of the European Union and the already set agreements between United Kingdom and the EU has to be settled. Also the finalization of border-control between them. The movement of workers, trading, certifications, licensing and legal framework. Therefore, it isn’t just a subject of getting polish workers to move back to the Union instead of working on low-pay at a building-site in Cardiff. It is more complex than that.
The whole process from the United Kingdom has been erratic and been a circus. The Brexit planning has been a shadow of bureaucracies that the Commonwealth and former Empire was so proud of. Instead, the government have been meager and weak, they haven’t delivered and not given them any flesh on the bones. Just a jellyfish, not even a proper tuna. The mellow belly-waging and wobbly progress will not leave anything behind.
That PM May only cares about her power, as she would have in the months ahead of the negotiations come with guidelines and also delivered some scope of how they anticipated the outcomes could be. However, the EU have put forward certain key aspects and motions that has to be put in order. Something that UK should have worked with and taken serious as a Member State leaving. Instead, they have had enough internal issues and lacking movement to be taken serious.
That the DUP and Tories coalition will make it harder is evident as the UK Government has to be more careful of the Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. That is how the Irish are supposed to co-exist. Not only if the Brexit will cut off the trading agreement between London and rest of Europe, but also if the Schengen passports and such is still relevant. This will not a be easy trade-off and be as anyone expect. The UK and EU will be former mates, trying to figure out an agreement that benefits the EU Member States and what completes the wishes of United Kingdom.
Certainly, that will not be sensible, but will be painful and also in the beginning hurt both the EU and UK. Since, they leaving and has to create another types of boundaries and border legislation. This will consider everything that today makes the imports and export working, as well as the production and all other aspects of modern-Britain.
Therefore, when I hear comments like this from Arlene Foster and DUP, also remembering the words of Theresa May, which has been staggering in the sense of Brexit. It seems like she thinks she had total control and could explain Brussels how it would be to leave. It wasn’t to cut the contract of gym-club, but the grand-partnership between the EU and UK. So she said this after triggering the Article 50: “ So Mr Speaker, in the letter that has been delivered to President Tusk today – copies of which I have placed in the library of the House – I have been clear that the deep and special partnership we seek is in the best interests of the United Kingdom and of the European Union too” (…) “We will pursue a bold and ambitious free trade agreement with the European Union that allows for the freest possible trade in goods and services between Britain and the EU’s member states; that gives British companies the maximum freedom to trade with and operate within European markets; and that lets European businesses do the same in Britain” (…) ‘Because European Leaders have said many times that we cannot ‘cherry pick’ and remain members of the Single Market without accepting the four freedoms that are indivisible. We respect that position. And as accepting those freedoms is incompatible with the democratically expressed will of the British People, we will no longer be members of the Single Market” (Morley, 2017).
Still, at this point and within her speech on the triggering. It seemed like a giant wish-list and easy taking the wishes and want the UK might need in the future. Instead of seeing the truth or telling the sincerity of it, which means that UK has to follow suit of the EU and European Commission. Even if they leave and has taken an important place in the Union. They now has to leave with the binding agreements they have signed in the past, the co-operative organizations and legislation that has to be left behind. This means it will not be little things to cover in the 2 years time and neither the aspects of just movement between the UK and the EU.
The UK cannot pick-and-mix with the EU. They never have and never will, they have to try to use leverage and fear. The Tories and DUP will clearly have issues on the 19th June 2017, when the negotiations start. As even the DUP are thinking of taking the sweat candies and either asking for cup of coffee or tea.
The Brexit will be costly for both the EU and the UK. How much and how dire, the time will tell, the internal affairs in both camps will be bloody. The dossiers and notes from the political sides will really show the effects and the true feelings of the negotiations. That even the most conning politicians doesn’t want to reveal. Peace.
Morley, Nicole – ‘Theresa May’s speech as she triggers Article 50 and starts Brexit process’ (29.03.2017) link: http://metro.co.uk/2017/03/29/theresa-mays-speech-as-she-triggers-article-50-and-starts-brexit-process-6540860/
Just as Sinn Fein and Gerry Adams proclaim in-front of Number 10 Downing Street today alerted the world, again that the current arrangement between the Conservative Party and the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), as the talks between them continues in London. The Northern Ireland peace-process and negotiations continues to linger on the Tories. They have officially opened the can of worms and cannot swallow it quick enough. Because there more problems lingering for the term ‘Confidence and Supply’ agreement aren’t finalized. The Queens Speech for the entering of new government has also been postponed, and none of the deals are agreed before the start of Brexit. Which was declared by the European Commission today.
“The following joint statement has been issued by the Department for Exiting the European Union and the European Commission:“Michel Barnier, the European Commission’s Chief Negotiator, and David Davis, Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, agreed today to launch Article 50 negotiations on Monday, 19 June.”(European Commission, 2017).
So the United Kingdom and their process of leaving the European Union (EU), as the notification has been triggered and the issues remain the same. The EU has guidelines for the negotiations with the Member State leaving. But the Party leaving is divided and weak, they not even prepared for the trade-off or even the future questions of sovereign state or even as possible state working together with European Union.
While the Tories are working on their coalition with DUP, the Northern Ireland party involved in direct in the United Kingdom government or Her Majesties Government. So the Sinn Fein statement from Gerry Adams of violating the Good Friday of 1998, seems fair and just observation by the Republicans of Northern Ireland. As the Unionist Party are involved directly and trying to figure out a way to get more power for giving majority to the Tories. This seems like Arlene Foster and Theresa May has no issues burring the Good Friday Agreement, making it all clear in Northern Ireland, that the Unionist are the right citizens and their needs. Not the general Northern Irish, as the people are still trying to fix Stormont or the local councils, are the wounds are still fresh. Therefore, the ties with IRA and other Unionist Militias are controversial, as the para-military brigades are feared for creating violence.
This can flair up when the dust settles and things starts to go south. The Northern Irish parties should fear the DUP influence and their capacity in London. British are now totally involved and also partial with DUP as their role in the government and as benefactor for the possible coalition. This would be what-so-ever party who would be in coalition in London from Northern Ireland; if it would be Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), Alliance Party of Northern Ireland or Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) the answer would still be the same. They are to involved in the government of London and United Kingdom.
So on Monday the 19th June 2017, the British officials will not government officials, as the government are not authenticated, not even deliberated by the Queen who officially opens the Parliament and the Cabinet. This will not happen before 21st June 2017. Therefore, the government, who is not official are negotiated. But you know they are on thin-ice when they have to release this statement:
“Today I met Northern Ireland’s five main parties with a clear focus on restoring devolved Government to Northern Ireland as soon as possible” (…) “But time is running short and the parties must come together by the 29 June for the return of a strong voice at Stormont and for a brighter future for everyone in Northern Ireland” (…) “My government remains absolutely committed to doing everything we can to help take this process to a successful conclusion, remaining steadfast to our commitments in the Belfast Agreement and its successors” (…) “The Northern Ireland Secretary will continue to engage with the parties before this crucial deadline and if no resolution is reached then we will need to consider what steps we need to take, to ensure Northern Ireland has the political stability it needs” (Prime Minister’s Office, 2017).
Prime Minister Theresa May are clearly not aware of the Belfast Agreement or Good Friday Agreement of 1998 and the Executive Agreement of 2008. So that the PM May are talking of short time for the future of Northern Ireland. Because the United Kingdom government is not official, not even as Brexit starts. The possible violation as the DUP are working their perks with the Tories to finalized the coalition. That secures the Prime Ministers position, but that is at the same time directly interfering with the talks of 29th June 2017. They are happening as the new government and coalition are appearing.
That the Unionist and DUP doesn’t care about the Republicans are clear by their actions in this matter. If they cared about that, they wouldn’t consider the coalition, as the peace and prosperity of the political agreements of Northern Ireland would matter more than UK Government. Alas, that is not the case and the world can see how power-hungry the DUP is. This isn’t the short-con or the long-con. This is the opening of wounds and destruction, just so someone can stay Prime Minister. That someone in London can with their impartiality in Northern Ireland, Belfast can be turned upside down because of this.
She might not only be remembered for breaking the Good Friday Agreement, undo the peace of Northern Ireland and also regain her wobbly government into the Brexit without a clear policy or legal authority. Theresa May may actually be able to in her lifetime to restart conflict in the NI and also create more polarization with the Holyrood and Edinburgh. As the Scottish Independence and Northern Ireland peace process might jeopardize lot’s of strength the Brexit and her own stability.
There brewing trouble in Belfast, there brewing grand-issues in London and in Edinburgh. Only Cardiff in Wales that are steady as it goes. And if there is issues in Belfast, the Dublin will react as well, as there is fellow Irish people who needs support. That means a Member State of the EU has issues with the way a current, but leaving Member State are handling internal-affairs. The Republic of Ireland will react as it has done with even a phone-call Taoiseach and the worries of Ireland. We can wonder if Leo Varadkar will do. The Irish will certainly not accept the breach of agreement, since the Good Friday Agreement was between the Irish, British and Northern Irish counterparts. That is because all of them see it their territory.
We can just wonder if Theresa May wants to risk so much, create such a fragile and troubled state, just for the sake her staying in power. That the Northern Ireland politics and agreement should be more important, that is if she was considering something else than her own career. Nevertheless, that doesn’t seem to be important. It would be humiliating to step-down and let another minority government come into power. But wouldn’t it be even worse to jeopardize the peace and open up the wounds in Northern Ireland! Peace.
European Commission – ‘Joint statement by the Department for Exiting the European Union and the European Commission’ (15.06.2017) link: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_STATEMENT-17-1656_en.htm
Prime Minister’s Office – ‘PM statement following Northern Ireland talks: 15 June 2017’ (15.06.2017) link: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/pm-statement-following-northern-ireland-talks-15-june-2017
Sinn Féin MP Paul Maskey said the party’s MPs will use their mandate to promote equality, rights and Irish unity and designated special status for the north within the EU.
Paul Maskey was speaking as the new seven-strong Sinn team was preparing to travel to London for a two-day series of meetings.
The West Belfast MP said:
“The new seven-strong Sinn Féin team of MPs is hitting the ground running”.
“We have received a huge mandate from the people for our platform of equality, rights for all and Irish unity and our opposition to Brexit”.
“We will meeting with British Secretary of State James Brokenshire, other political parties, trade unions and journalists as well as the Irish diaspora to update them on current political developments”.
“The Sinn Féin delegation will be making the case in London for the re-establishment of political institutions, which deliver for all, and to campaign for designated special status for the north within the EU.”