2019: So, what happens next?

Bandwidth problem A cross-party group of MPs recently warned that Brexit was “sucking the life” out of Theresa’s May government. They are right: this week David Lidington, May’s de facto deputy PM, is tasked with finding policies that can be ditched so government and the civil service can focus on no deal planning. Escalating fearsRead more

‘Repeal the 8th’ comes to Westminster

In the wake of Ireland’s landslide 66% to 34% decision to repeal the 8th amendment of the Bunreacht na h’Éireann, which had barred any move to liberalise abortion law, there has been increasing pressure for similar changes in Northern Ireland. This is a totemic red line for the DUP. Any move to make abortion legalRead more

From Good Friday to Ash Wednesday – is this the end for Stormont?

Last night, the talks between the DUP and Sinn Féin to reform the Stormont Executive spectacularly collapsed again, as the parties failed to come to an agreement on a range of issues, in particular the combustible issue of the status of the Irish language. Arlene Foster, leader of the DUP, said that there was noRead more

But her emails!: Could an email be about to bring down the Irish Government? And what does it mean for the UK?

It was announced last week that a vote of no confidence motion in the Tánaiste (Deputy Prime Minister), Frances Fitzgerald TD, is to be tabled in the Dáil Éireann by Fianna Fáil, the second largest party in the Irish Parliament. Sinn Féin had already said they would table a similar motion earlier on Thursday lastRead more

Northern Irish devolution: Some Assembly required

Before the Assembly collapsed in January this year – in the wake of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scandal – there were extraordinary scenes. In the days in December 2016 all the parties except the DUP left the Chamber as the First Minister, Arlene Foster, got up to defend her role in making the RHIRead more

Northern Ireland elections – initial analysis

The results are still trickling in from the Northern Ireland Assembly elections, but the first counts have been completed in all 18 constituencies. Final results are expected tomorrow afternoon. The picture emerging so far is as follows: Turnout is up 10% compared to last year’s Assembly elections – the highest since 1998. That voters areRead more