Brexit

On this page, you will find all the work we have done that is specifically related to Brexit - whether the referendum vote, the Brexit negotiations process, the Withdrawal Agreement and Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland, or the post-Brexit constitutional settlement in Northern Ireland, insofar as impacted by Brexit.

Internal Market Bill

The publication of the Internal Market Bill (IMB) on 9th September 2020 sparked widespread concern about the UK’s commitment to upholding the Withdrawal Agreement reached in 2019.

This short summary provides some initial analysis of key aspects of the IMB relevant to Northern Ireland.

For rolling analysis of developments and for updates on further output from the team on this, keep an eye on the PI Twitter account @performidentity

PI Panel at UACES 2020

The Performing Identities will (virtually) come together on Monday 7th September to lead a panel discussion at the UACES Virtual Conference 2020.

Initially planned to be happening in Belfast, the full conference has now moved to an online platform in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

We have planned a panel on the theme of Brexit and Northern Ireland, in which each member will outline some key aspects of the work being done within the Performing Identities project.

This will include the presentation of initial findings from interview-based research in Northern Ireland, and overviews of several forthcoming papers not yet in the public domain.

Central to our plans for the session is to provide a forum for informal discussion – on the work of the team, but also more generally on the topics being covered.

As a ‘non-traditional panel’ at the UACES conference, we had ambitious plans for this session in Belfast. While now proceeding in a virtual format, this remains a session not to be missed for anyone interested in Brexit and its impact in Northern Ireland!


Unfortunately, this panel is only open to registered participants of the conference, but we will be tweeting updates on the day from our account – @performidentity


NEW: ‘EU Law in the UK’

We are delighted to share that PI team member, Sylvia de Mars, has published a new book.

‘EU Law in the UK’ is the first textbook to be published in the field since Brexit. It examines the institutional and substantive elements of EU law, considering them in terms of Brexit and the potential implications of this for UK law.

“It takes a uniquely contextual approach designed to enliven the learning experience, support understanding, and help students appreciate the relevance and impact of EU law.”

Oxford University Press

A phenomenal achievement in the context of the fast pace of change over recent years. Congratulations, Sylvia!

Copies of the book can be purchased online here or from most book retailers.

Evidence submitted to the EU International Agreements Sub-Committee: Inquiry on Treaty Scrutiny

Colin Murray and Clare Rice have submitted evidence to the EU International Agreements Sub-Committee as part of the inquiry on Treaty Scrutiny. It outlines that post-Brexit, treaty scrutiny is going to matter more than ever in light of Northern Ireland’s position under the Protocol needing ongoing consideration. The submission focuses mainly on the role of the devolved institutions in this, and suggests some ways in which the scrutiny powers of the UK Parliament can be enhanced.

Evidence submitted to the Committee on the Future Relationship with the European Union

PI’s Colin Murray and Clare Rice have submitted evidence to the Committee on the Future Relationship with the European Union as part of the ‘Progress of the negotiations on the UK’s Future Relationship with the EU’ Inquiry.

This document comprises of 4 elements:

  • Negotiation priorities
  • Interpretation and implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement and the Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland
  • The role of the Joint Committee and the Specialised Committee on Northern Ireland
  • Specific constitutional considerations for Northern Ireland

Blog: Implementing the NI Protocol

Following the publication of the UK’s Command Paper on the implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement’s Protocol on Ireland / Northern Ireland, our team prepared several pieces of analysis.

Aoife O’Donoghue prepared an article for the DCU Brexit Institute Blog – ‘The UK’s Approach to Implementing the Northern Ireland Protocol‘ – which highlighted absences of detail in the document, reaching a conclusion that ‘this is unlikely to be the basis on which the EU will accept the implementation of the Ireland/Northern Ireland Protocol.’

Colin Murray, also writing for the DCU Brexit Institute Blog, highlights ambiguities between the UK’s position and the commitments already signed up to in the Withdrawal Agreement. In Front-Foot Negotiations: The UK’s Proposed Implementation of the Ireland/Northern Ireland Protocol it is argued that the document exposes the UK’s weak position in the discussions, and that rather than bravado, a more realistic approach is necessitated.

Clare Rice prepared an article for The UK in a Changing Europe – ‘A road to nowhere? The UK’s approach to implementing the NI Protocol.’ This piece explored the potential intent behind the position the UK outlined on implementing the NI Protocol. It suggests the Command Paper indicates that Northern Ireland will likely become collateral damage as a consequence of political ambitions beyond its control.


For further analysis and immediate responses to developments as they happen, check out our Twitter – @performidentity


REPORT: ‘Continuing EU Citizenship “Rights, Opportunities and Benefits” in Northern Ireland after Brexit’

Four of PI’s team members – Colin Murray, Sylvia de Mars, Aoife O’Donoghue and Ben Warwick – have prepared one of two reports for the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission and the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission, examining challenges to citizenship rights in the context of Brexit.

Brexit therefore creates the potential for new and more extreme gaps in the rights and protections available to different groups of people living within Northern Ireland.

This report highlights a number of pre-existing complexities with regard to citizenship laws in Northern Ireland and examines the specific challenges these give rise to in the context of Brexit. A number of recommendations are made as to how these can be addressed.

The full report is available to download here: https://www.nihrc.org/publication/detail/continuing-eu-citizenship-rights-opportunities-and-benefits-in-northern-ireland-after-brexit

Blog: ‘EU Citizenship Rights in Northern Ireland’

In a new article published on the UK in a Changing Europe blog, Colin Murray presents an overview of two reports published by the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (NIHRC) and the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC).

The first report, authored by Alison Harvey, is entitled ‘A Legal Analysis of Incorporating Into UK Law the Birthright Commitment under the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement 1998’ while the second is entitled ‘Continuing EU Citizenship “Rights, Opportunities and Benefits” in Northern Ireland after Brexit’ and was authored by four PI team members (Colin Murray, Sylvia de Mars, Aoife O’Donoghue, Ben Warwick).

This article presents an overview of the key areas covered in these publications, and offers some explanation in the context of the DeSouza case.

This approach is, in itself, generating a rolling crisis in Northern Ireland’s governance, as one cause célèbre gives way to the next and everything seems to remain in flux. It remains to be seen how much of this buffeting Northern Ireland’s unique (and fragile) constitutional order can sustain.

Colin Murray, UK in a Changing Europe, April 2020

The article is available to read in full by clicking here.

Evidence submitted to the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee: ‘Unfettered Access’ Inquiry

Evidence has been submitted by Colin Murray and Clare Rice to the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee as part of the ‘Unfettered Access: Northern Ireland and Customs Arrangements after Brexit’ Inquiry

You can also catch-up on what PI team members, Colin Murray and Sylvia de Mars, had to say on this theme when they gave oral evidence to the Lords EU Select Committee in February here (with a full transcript available here).