I/NI Protocol

Event Recordings: Brexit and Identity in Northern Ireland

The ‘Performing Identities’ team hosted two lunchtime events on 23/24 June 2021, marking the culmination of a total of 5 years of work on ESRC-funded projects examining Brexit, Northern Ireland and legal, political and social dynamics of both.

In the first event, the PI team came together virtually to present some key findings from research that had been completed as part of the current project, which commenced in early 2019. This concluded with a Q&A.

A recording of this full event is now available below, along with time indicators for each part of the session.


00.13 – Colin Murray (‘Rooting Around in Archives: The Protocol in Context’)

13.06 – Ben Warwick (Citizenship and Brexit)

24.21 – Megan Armstrong and Clare Rice (Brexit and Identity in Northern Ireland)

41.38 – Sylvia de Mars and Aoife O’Donoghue (Multi-level Governance and Brexit)

49.25 – Discussion and Conclusion

Performing Identities: Brexit and Northern Ireland – Part 1

On Thursday 24th June 2021, we hosted a second lunchtime event – a panel discussion focused on the theme of identity in Northern Ireland.

The purpose of this session was to engage in conversation about different perspectives on identity in Northern Ireland and to explore how the often overlooked complexity and diversity of identity in this context interacts with the traditionally binary conceptions along religious and/or constitutional lines.

The esteemed panel included:

Emma DeSouza (Rights Campaigner; Writer)

Mark Devenport (Former Political Editor, BBC NI)

Linda Ervine MBE (Director, Turas; President, East Belfast GAA)

Susan McKay (Journalist; Author of ‘Northern Protestants: On Shifting Ground’ – available to purchase here)

John O’Doherty (Director, The Rainbow Project)

Danielle Roberts (Women’s Rights Activist)

A recording of the full discussion, hosted online, is available below.

Performing Identities: Brexit and Northern Ireland – Part 2 (Identity)

PI’s Megan Armstrong also live-tweeted the session, and her summary thread can be found here.

BLOG: ‘Vichy France and Vassalage: Hyperbole versus the Northern Ireland Protocol’

PI’s Colin Murray has analysed the decision reached in the legal case on the Northern Ireland Protocol yesterday.

In his analysis, Colin examines each of the five grounds argued in the case and situates these in wider legal context. He also considers the interaction between the case and sensitive political dynamics at play within Northern Ireland currently in relation to the Protocol.

The full article can be freely accessed here.

BLOG: ‘The Northern Ireland Protocol is currently caught between an untrusting Brussels and an unrealistic London’

PI’s Colin Murray has authored an article examining how differences in understanding the purpose of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland has led to difficulties between the UK and the EU in relation to addressing its challenges.

Published by LSE British Politics and Policy, the article highlights that until a common understanding of the Protocol’s purpose is reached, it is unlikely that agreement will be achieved on some of its more contentious aspects.

The full article is available to read here: https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/northern-ireland-protocol/

In short, there seems to be very little point in discussing technical/legal fixes at the moment, because the key actors are talking at such cross-purposes that the most contentious protocol issues cannot be resolved. 

Colin Murray

BLOG: Examining the DUP in Northern Ireland

PI has contributed analysis to a number of outlets on recent developments within Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).

In a week that saw a party revolt, the resignation of the First Minister and the announcement of the party’s first leadership campaign in its existence, the team have tweeted, written and spoken about events as they have unfolded.

PI’s Clare Rice was interviewed twice on the BBC News Channel, and prepared a blog analysing the situation for LSE Politics and Policy, available to read here.

Clare was also interviewed by France’s ‘Le Monde’ newspaper about the implications of the changes within the DUP for politics and power-sharing in Northern Ireland. A summary of her analysis was reported in this article: https://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2021/04/29/en-irlande-du-nord-les-unionistes-en-crise_6078493_3210.html

The team will continue to share updates on all the latest developments in Northern Ireland on our Twitter – @performidentity

BLOG: Examining the Riots in Northern Ireland

PI’s Clare Rice has written an article examining some of the root causes that have led to rioting, protests and violence in Northern Ireland over recent weeks.

Published by the UK in a Changing Europe think-tank, the piece highlights that a combination of multiple factors have contributed to these scenes, one of which has been the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland.

The full article is available to read at this link: https://ukandeu.ac.uk/riots-in-northern-ireland-an-explanation/

Evidence Submitted to the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee – ‘Brexit and the Northern Ireland Protocol’ Inquiry

PI’s Colin Murray and Clare Rice have submitted evidence to the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee in relation to its ‘Brexit and the Northern Ireland Protocol’ Inquiry.

This submission takes some initial stock of the early outworking of the Protocol in Northern Ireland, identifying some of the key challenges that have been faced and the reasons for these. It also examines Article 16 of the Protocol, and considers some practical and political dynamics around Article 18’s democratic consent provision for the Northern Ireland Assembly.

Explainer: Article 16 of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland

In light of the challenges that have been seen with the Northern Ireland Protocol since it came into force on 1st January 2021, there have been calls for the UK Government to use Article 16 of the Protocol as a means to solving these issues.

The UK Government has been reluctant to take this step. But in the face of mounting pressure on the UK Government to use it, and increased discussion about it, the complexity of Article 16 has come under close scrutiny.

But what is Article 16, how does it work, and what does it mean?

PI’s Clare Rice prepared an explainer on this for UK in a Changing Europe. This concise guide is available to read in full here: https://ukandeu.ac.uk/explainers/article-16-of-the-northern-ireland-protocol/

Blog: “Free us”: the DUP’s Northern Ireland Protocol Strategy

Developments have been happening at a mile a minute in Northern Ireland since the Northern Ireland Protocol came into force on 1st January 2021.

PI’s Clare Rice prepared an article for LSE Brexit examining these developments, looking specifically at the five-point strategy Northern Ireland’s DUP published in response to the challenges the Protocol has given rise to.

The DUP, having been complicit in creating the conditions that gave rise to the present situation, is now having to do the political equivalent of fighting the fires it stoked. The five-point plan that has been announced is, in effect, the party’s strategy of how it intends to do this.

Clare Rice, LSE Brexit blog

The full article is available to read in full at this link: https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/brexit/2021/02/04/free-us-the-dups-northern-ireland-protocol-strategy/