NI Governance Background

1921-1972 The island of Ireland formerly constituted a single country and legal system which prior to 1919/22 was part of the United Kingdom.  Northern Ireland was established as a separate legal system by the Government of Ireland Act 1920.  Under this legislation, a considerable amount of governmental powers were devolved to Northern Ireland. The transferred […]

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NI Devolution

Northern Ireland Act The Northern Ireland Act 1998 as amended, in effect comprises the Constitution of Northern Ireland.  It declares that Northern Ireland in its entirety remains part of the United Kingdom and shall not cease to be so without the consent of a majority of the people in Northern Ireland. There is provision for […]

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British-Irish Arrangements

British-Irish Council The  British-Irish Council (BIC) was established under a British-Irish (Good Friday) Agreement to promote the harmonious and mutually beneficial development of the totality of relationships among the peoples of these islands. Membership of the BIC comprises representatives of the British and Irish Governments, devolved institutions in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales and, if […]

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North-South Arrangements

North / South Ministerial Council The  North/South Ministerial Council was established to bring together those with executive responsibilities in Northern Ireland and the Irish Government, to develop consultation, co-operation and action within the island of Ireland – including through implementation on an all-island and cross-border basis – on matters of mutual interest within the competence […]

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NI Executive

First and Deputy First Minister Within seven days after the meeting of the Assembly, the offices of the First Minister and deputy First Minister are filled, in accordance with the following provisions. The largest political party of the largest political designation nominates the First Minister. The largest political party of the second largest political designation […]

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NI Assembly

Holding Elections Elections are to take place in the first Thursday in May in every fourth calendar year following that for which the predecessor was elected.  This term was extended to five years by the Northern Ireland Act 2014.  The Secretary of State may change the date by order for periods of up to two […]

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Border Issues

Special Northern Ireland Issues in Negotiation The matter of the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland is complex and ambiguous. After Brexit, the internal Irish land border will be the EU-UK land border. The ultimate nature of this border will depend on the agreement, if any, reached between the UK  and the EU and the […]

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Northern Ireland’s Status

Northern Ireland and Devolution Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland have been separate legal jurisdictions since May 1921. Northern Ireland has also remained a separate jurisdiction from the rest of the United Kingdom under the Stormont Parliament 1921 to 1972, the direct rule periods (1972-1999)  and the Northern Ireland Assembly period interspersed with suspensions […]

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The CTA Background

The Common Travel Area The Common Travel Area did not formally involve aligned immigration rules. However, it involved sufficient alignment and continuing cooperation between the immigration authorities of Ireland and the UK. The CTA was largely subsumed under the common EU freedom of movement rights when both joined the EEC in 1973. However, it did […]

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UK Proposals on NI (August 2017)

Context In August 2017, the UK published a position paper on various issues in relation to the Brexit negotiations and in particular the issue of border arrangements within the island of Ireland.  It emphasised the UK’s ambition to develop a new deep and special partnership with the EU and the implications which this has for […]

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EU -UK Joint Report [Dec 2017]

Context 8 December 2017 TF50 (2017) 19 – Commission to EU 27 Joint report from the negotiators of the European Union and the United Kingdom Government on progress during phase 1 of negotiations under Article 50 TEU on the United Kingdom’s orderly withdrawal from the European Union. Origin: Presented jointly by the negotiators of the European Union and the […]

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Protocol on NI (Mar 2018 Draft)

Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland Negotiations on the border have continued to be separated from other withdrawal issues. In June 2017 when formal negotiations began, talks on the border were separated into a ‘dialogue.’ The December Joint Report also ‘fudged’ the issue. Instead of proposing one solution, it set out three scenarios. The first, and the […]

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Withdrawal Agreement Negotiations

December 2017 Agreement in Principle A Joint report was concluded in December 2017 following the first stage of negotiations between the EU and UK. Both parties reaffirmed in the joint report, their commitment to peace, stability and reconciliation and for that purpose to the protection of the Good Friday Agreement including the practical application of […]

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Irish (RoI) Citizenship

Irish Citizenship I Citizenship grants the most extensive rights to be in the State and enjoy the benefits of its laws and protection. Nationals and naturalised residents are citizens. A wide range of persons potentially qualify for Irish citizenship. In some cases, qualification is automatic, while in others, the Minister for Justice has an element […]

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Northern Ireland [Irish Senate Report]

Background Northern Ireland and the Good Friday Agreement have been recognised in the Guidelines adopted by the European Council: “The Union has consistently supported the goal of peace and reconciliation enshrined in the Good Friday Agreement in all its parts, and continuing to support and protect the achievements, benefits and commitments of the Peace Process will remain […]

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ERG (Conservative Backbench Group) NI Report

The Border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland post-Brexit 12th September 2018 Disclaimer: This document is not endorsed by any ERG member who is subject to Government collective responsibility. Executive Summary The issue ofthe border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland has been allowed to frame the Brexit negotiations. Both the UK and […]

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UK Temporary Customs Arrangement Note [June 2018]

TECHNICAL NOTE: TEMPORARY CUSTOMS ARRANGEMENT 1. When the UK leaves the EU, it will also leave the EU Customs Union. During the Implementation Period, the UK will continue to apply the same rules as the EU, meaning that access to each other’s markets will continue on current terms. The UK is committed to securing a new future customs […]

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NI Consent Regs HL Report

Brexit: Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland Democratic Consent Regulations In Focus Published Friday, 27 November, 2020 In Focus Brexit & the EU Devolution James Tobin The draft Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland (Democratic Consent Process) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020 would implement the mechanism for obtaining democratic consent in Northern Ireland to the continued application of articles 5 to […]

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North-South Mapping Exercise (UK Report)

TECHNICAL EXPLANATORY NOTE: NORTH-SOUTH COOPERATION MAPPING EXERCISE This technical note provides a UK commentary on the North-South cooperation mapping exercise carried out during Phase 1 of the negotiations on the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. The list of areas of cooperation attached at Annex A reflects discussions between the UK, EU and Ireland, but this explanatory […]

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NI Assembly Reports on Border

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UK Commons Committee NI Trade Issues

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