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


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.

Blog: ‘Governance in Northern Ireland: Learning from the ‘Cash for Ash’ Scandal

In a new article, written for the Political Studies Association (PSA) Blog, Clare Rice examines the fallout from the Non-domestic Renewable Heat Incentive Inquiry and considers the implications of the Report’s recommendations for governance in Northern Ireland.

“The #CashforAsh scandal contributed to the unravelling of a complex political web which ultimately saw the collapse of political institutions and three years without a government.”

The full article is available to read here: https://www.psa.ac.uk/psa/news/governance-northern-ireland-learning-cash-ash-scandal

Evidence to Lords EU Select Committee

Colin Murray and Sylvia de Mars attended a meeting of the European Union Select Committee in the House of Lords on 11th February 2020, to give evidence on the revised Ireland / Northern Ireland Protocol. Completing the panel was David Henig, called to share his expertise on trade.

Colin and Sylvia addressed a range of issues pertinent to the work of the Committee, drawing on their expert knowledge of EU law, UK constitutional law and the particularities of the situation in Northern Ireland.

This informative session was followed keenly by experts across the UK, not least in Northern Ireland (see this thread from BBC NI’s Economics and Business Editor, John Campbell), as the complexities that will need to be addressed by the end of 2020 were made unequivocally clear.

The full meeting is available to watch by following this link – https://www.parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/006d7a57-9cd7-474b-96ea-0773023c0582#player-tabs/p>

Alternatively, the Performing Identities Twitter account (@performidentity) will be sharing short clips from the meeting over the coming days along with some bite-size analysis and insight.

Blog: Northern Ireland’s ‘New Approach’ in a Decade of Uncertainty

What has changed since the 2019 General Election, and what does Brexit mean for the new deal that has been reached in Northern Ireland?

PI team member, Clare Rice, considers these questions in a new article published on the DCU Brexit Institute blog – available to read here: http://dcubrexitinstitute.eu/2020/01/northern-irelands-new-approach-in-a-decade-of-uncertainty/

General Election 2019 Coverage and Analysis

The PI team have been busy in the lead up to the General Election and in the days since, offering insight and analysis across a range of platforms.

Professor O’Donoghue has appeared on BFM Radio Malaysia and Today FM (Ireland).

Clare Rice has been involved in BBC coverage, appearing on Inside Politics, Sunday Politics, Good Morning Ulster, Evening Extra, Newsline, Newsnight, and the BBC News Channel.

Follow us on Twitter (@performidentity) for all the latest updates and links to catch up on our analyses!

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 to the Joint Committee on Human Rights: Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill 2020

PI team members Sylvia de Mars, Colin Murray, Aoife O’Donoghue and Ben Warwick have submitted evidence to the Joint Committee on Human Rights with regard to the Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill 2020.

This submission focuses on Clause 2 of the bill, which relates to Irish citizens. In particular, it is highlighted that the omission within the Explanatory Notes of all reference to the Good Friday/Belfast Agreement (GFA) is concerning.

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

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

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).

Evidence submitted to the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee: ‘New Decade, New Approach’ Inquiry

Evidence has been submitted by Clare Rice to the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee as part of their inquiry into the ‘New Decade, New Approach’ deal reached in Northern Ireland in January 2020. This submission examines the agreement in terms of its content on governance and the sustainability of the institutions.

The full paper can be downloaded here: