You are currently viewing Political crisis in Northern Ireland to be resolved by new elections

28 Oct 2022 2:28 pm

24 weeks ago there was an election in Northern Ireland. But the denominational camps cannot agree on a government. Therefore, in the former civil war province will probably vote again soon. It’s a vicious circle – and there’s no way out in sight.

In Northern Ireland, the political crisis intensified after a deadline for forming a government. Because the two most important parties were unable to agree on a unity government by Friday in the allotted time, the British province is now heading for the second election in a year. The British central government is likely to announce early elections this Friday. The possible date is December 15th.

But experts are convinced that the next vote will not lead to a solution either. Rather, it is expected in Belfast that the fronts will harden. The former civil war province is threatened with a vicious circle. In the smallest part of the United Kingdom with a good 1.9 million inhabitants, the focus is on religion, demographics and the role between Great Britain and Ireland.

The stalemate came after the Protestant Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) refused to enter a government with the Catholic Sinn Fein, which won the majority of the votes in May’s election. Such bipartisan unity government is mandated by the 1998 Good Friday Agreement that ended the civil war. Before that, Catholics, who advocate reunification with Ireland, and Protestants – mostly supporters of union with Britain – had been at odds for decades.

“Bury Northern Ireland Protocol”

Almost 25 years after the peace agreement, the political fronts continue to run along denominational lines. The fact that more Catholics now live in the province, which was once dominated by Protestants, makes the situation even more difficult. Now unionists like the DUP fear demographics will encourage secession from Britain and union with Ireland.

As a condition for entering government, the DUP is demanding that special rules for Northern Ireland, which London and Brussels had agreed on in the wake of Brexit, be overturned. The regulation is intended to avoid a hard border with EU member Ireland. But it has also created a customs border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK, with trade problems.

The DUP does not contest the fact that all other parties in Northern Ireland, but also the government of neighboring Ireland and now even the British central government are asking them to give in. Party leader Jeffrey Donaldson said it was the will of his voters to bury the so-called Northern Ireland Protocol.

Critics accuse the DUP of taking the province hostage. “Public budgets to support the population are frozen because the DUP is blocking local government,” said Green MEP Anna Cavazzini, chair of the European Parliament’s Internal Market Committee.

Irish MEPs: "These slanders could also come from Goering"

To make matters worse, London would like to repeal the internationally binding Northern Ireland Protocol. The EU has also admitted that the regulation, which is intended to prevent circumvention of the EU customs border, has led to difficulties in everyday life. For example, some food can no longer be exported duty-free from Great Britain to Northern Ireland. But when it comes to a solution, the UK and the EU are still far apart. The fact that there is legislation in the British Parliament that would allow London to unilaterally terminate the agreement does not make things any better.

Some experts are already pointing to a last resort. Legally, Northern Ireland could be governed directly from London without forming a local executive. But such a step risks new tensions and possibly new violence: for the nationalists, this would amount to a hostile takeover.

more on the subject – Irish MEP: Ireland’s government loves NATO proxy war in Ukraine

(rt de/dpa)

By blocking RT, the EU aims to silence a critical, non-pro-Western source of information. And not only with regard to the Ukraine war. Access to our website has been made more difficult, several social media have blocked our accounts. It is now up to all of us whether journalism beyond mainstream narratives can continue to be pursued in Germany and the EU. If you like our articles, feel free to share them wherever you are active. It’s possible because the EU hasn’t banned our work or reading and sharing our articles. Note: However, with the amendment of the “Audiovisual Media Service Act” on April 13, Austria introduced a change in this regard, which may also affect private individuals. That’s why we ask you not to share our posts on social media in Austria until the situation has been clarified.

Source: RT

Disclaimer: If you need to update/edit/remove this news or article then please contact our support team Learn more

J. A. Allen

Author, blogger, freelance writer. Hater of spiders. Drinker of wine. Mother of hellions.

Leave a Reply