Into the Unknown: Implementing the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland

A new article from PI’s Colin Murray and Clare Rice has been published in the Journal of Cross Border Studies in Ireland.

The paper examines the UK’s approach to implementing the Withdrawal Agreement’s Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland, focusing on pathologies of (mis)government and examining historical approaches to the management of trade between Great Britain and the island of Ireland.

The full journal is publicly available at this link, with Colin and Clare’s paper starting at pg. 17: http://crossborder.ie/site2015/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Final-Digital-Journal-Cross-Border-Studies.pdf

The UK’s Internal Market Bill

The Internal Market Bill has been a source of much debate since its publication earlier in September 2020. The PI team has been busy analysing this, in real time on the project’s Twitter feed (@performidenty) and in a number of written pieces.

Colin Murray responded to the initial leak of the IMB’s contents ahead of its publication in a piece for the UK in a Changing Europe (available here), while Clare Rice prepared a blog examining the implications of the IMB for Northern Ireland for the DCU Brexit Institute blog (available here).

A short briefing paper on key aspects of the IMB for Northern Ireland is also available to view here on our website.


Follow us @performidentity for all our latest updates and analysis

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 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/

Evidence to Bill of Rights Committee

PI’s Colin Murray and Clare Rice have submitted evidence to the Northern Ireland Assembly’s Ad-hoc Committee on a Bill of Rights. This evidence has been submitted in response to the Committee’s on-going call for evidence covering different perspectives on a Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland.

The Committee is also conducting an online survey [available here] to gather a range of views – the deadline for completing this is 29th January 2021.

In the meantime, Colin and Clare’s submission can be viewed here:

Evidence to NIAC – Cross-border co-operation on policing, security and criminal justice after Brexit

Colin Murray joined a panel of experts on Wednesday 13th January to provide oral evidence to the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee as part of its ‘Cross-border co-operation on policing, security and criminal justice after Brexit’ inquiry.

Colin joined Gemma Davies (Associate Professor, Northumbria Law School at Northumbria University), Prof. Valsamis Mitsilegas (School of Law at Queen Mary University of London), and Prof. Steve Peers (School of Law at University of Essex).

The session covered a range of important areas, including access to data, extradition, UK post-Brexit security and UK-Ireland cooperation.

The full session is available to watch back at this link: https://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/752c46b4-216b-4bab-af4c-e4fda8309344

Colin Murray, as quoted in The Irish Times: “You take this brick out then this co-operation win that has come as part of the agreement will simply fall away”
Colin Murray providing historical context to the new suspect surrender arrangements under the TCA

We will also be sharing further updates and analysis on this over on our Twitter account @performidentity

Wed 13 Jan – Evidence to NI Affairs Committee

PI’s Colin Murray has been invited to provide oral evidence to the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee on 13th January 2021, as part of the ‘Cross-border co-operation on policing, security and criminal justice after Brexit’ inquiry.

Colin will join Gemma Davies (Associate Professor, Northumbria Law School at Northumbria University), Prof. Valsamis Mitsilegas (School of Law at Queen Mary University of London), and Prof. Steve Peers (School of Law at University of Essex).

The session will be streamed live from 9.30am – watch live at this link: https://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/752c46b4-216b-4bab-af4c-e4fda8309344

We will also be posting some updates over on Twitter @performidentity

NEW Article – ‘Beyond Trade: Implementing the Ireland/Northern Ireland Protocol’s Human Rights and Equalities Provisions’

PI’s Colin Murray and Clare Rice have shared a working version of their article on the topic of human rights, equality, and the implementation of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland.

The peer-reviewed paper, which will be published in its final form in the winter edition of Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly in early 2021, is available to download here.

Keep an eye on our Twitter account for updates on when the final article is published – @performidentity

Evidence submitted to the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee: ‘Cross-border co-operation on policing, security and criminal justice after Brexit’ Inquiry

PI’s Colin Murray and Clare Rice have submitted evidence to the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee as part of the ‘Cross-border co-operation on policing, security and criminal justice after Brexit’ inquiry.

The submission considers key aspects of cross-border co-operation with particular reference to the potential challenges of Brexit for practicalities of this between the UK and the Republic of Ireland. It also considers some specific challenges this is likely to present for policing, security and criminal justice on the island of Ireland and the potential difficulties this will create for Northern Ireland.

The full submission is available to view here:

A Review of Politics in Northern Ireland

A presentation delivered by PI’s Clare Rice examining the last 12 months in Northern Ireland’s politics has been published on the website of the Northern Ireland Assembly’s Education Service.

The presentation covers a number of key areas from the last year in Northern Ireland including the 2019 General Election, the ‘New Decade, New Approach’ deal, Brexit and management of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The presentation was followed by a Q&A with questions submitted by A-Level Government and Politics teachers in Northern Ireland. This covered a range of matters, including future Assembly elections, Opposition and the NDNA agreement.

A recording of the full session and a copy of the slides used (with some additional reading suggestions) can be viewed here: https://education.niassembly.gov.uk/video-gallery/review-politics-northern-ireland_october-2020