Follow these links to find out more: https://www.sinnfein.ie/contents/55727
Follow these links to find out more: https://www.sinnfein.ie/contents/55727
Brexit risks all of the progress that has been made and also risks the potential change that the Good Friday Agreement promised in terms of a society based on equality and parity of esteem – ie rights – and a pathway to a new independent Ireland.
FOR centuries the rights and interests of the people of this country, nationalists and unionists, have been subject to the interests of the British government, irrespective of the collateral damaged caused to the people here.
The Good Friday Agreement (GFA) was supposed to be the beginning of a new era where both the North of Ireland was the shared responsibility of the Irish and British governments and free of the malign and prejudiced influence of the British government. The GFA promised all-Ireland institutions with expanding horizons and equality and parity of esteem between the people of the North. Much has changed since the introduction of the GFA and Ireland has changed for the better on many fronts.
But Brexit risks all of the progress that has been made and also risks the potential change that the GFA promised in terms of a society based on equality and parity of esteem – ie rights – and a pathway to a new independent Ireland. Brexit has introduced, through the front door, a double veto over that promised by the GFA, the dead hand of the DUP in collaboration with the Tories and fanatical Brexiteers, in the ERG. Due to the Brexit needs of the British government, the DUP – which is a minority voice – has had its status and influence elevated to the point where it is effectively running the British government’s Brexit policy.
Before Brexit, the DUP had effectively blocked the full implementation of the GFA and created an immovable unionist veto inside the North’s institutions – immovable because of the failure of the British government, to act. The North’s institutions were doomed long before the heating scandal (RHI) led to their collapse. Since the collapse of the institutions the situation has deteriorated to the point where the DUP’s influence, through Brexit, is set to damage, not just northern society in terms of its economy and people’s rights, but the economy of the rest of this country. Northern nationalists – ever mindful of the limitions placed on their national and cultural rights by the confines of a unionist dominated state – have moved to achieve their rights beyond the six counties and are now begaining to shape a new political framework, within an all-Island setting, with the Irish government the principal focus and with the primary objective being reunification.
That is what ‘Ireland’s Future’ conference in Waterfront Hall publicly signalled. The context of the shift was the realisation by northern nationalists, after 10 years of government, that the DUP was opposed to power-sharing and fully working, to their maximum, the all-Ireland institutions of the GFA. In fact, the DUP was using the institutions to block progress, including the modernisation of northern society on human rights issues such as access to the truth for grieving relatives, marriage equality, abortion reform, an Irish language act, Irish citizenship and a Bill of Rights.
The shift was also influenced by a new and younger nationalist middle class who had experienced the war years; had been politicised by their experience, we’re confident and assertive and seeking, not a reformed north, but a new independent Ireland, where a reformed north could have an institutional place in a transitional arrangement. The first signs of the shift were the north’s nationalist electorate turning its back on Westminster and voting for Sinn Féin abstentionist MPs. The other element, in my view, the most crucial in the shift is the reality that nationalists will be a voting majority in the not too distant future and under the terms of the GFA could vote for a United Ireland in a border poll.
But shifts are not confined to the nationalist population. Brexit is impacting on the broad unionist community as well. We saw that in 2016 when a section of unionists voted with nationalists to Remain in the EU and a few months later stayed at home resulting in the unionist parties losing their majority in the north’s assembly for the first time in 100 yeas.
Add into this fast-evolving situation the possibility of a Jeremy Corbyn-led government in Downing Street after the next election and we have the ingredients for a transition to a new independent Ireland triggered by Corbyn implementing the GFA in all its parts, including a provision for a unity/border poll.
With many thanks to: Jim Gibney and The Irish News for the original posting.
[Caroline Nokes’s] position makes a mockery of the agreement’s pledge that it is the ‘birth right’ of people born in the North to be accepted as Irish or British (or both) – Daniel Holder
CONCERNS have been raised again about the rights of people in the North claiming Irish citizenship after Brexit.
It comes after a statement by British immigration minister Caroline Nokes on the same day Prime Minister Theresa May pledged to examine difficulties faced by Irish citizens who want to bring family members into the North. Under the 1998 Good Friday Agreement (GFA) people have the right to Irish or British citizenship. In response to a parliamentary question this week, Ms Kokes said: “Irish citizens resident in the UK who do not hold British citizenship will be eligible to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme if they choose. However, they do not need to so under the reciprocal Common Travel Area arrangements with Ireland.” The EU Settlement Scheme will allow EU citizens to continue living in Britain or the North of Ireland after Brexit.
However, the Home Office has previously said it views people born in the North as British, a position some believe including myself is contrary to the GFA. It has ment that family members of people born in the North of Ireland but claiming Irish citizenship may have difficulty securing residency. Daniel Holder, deputy director of the Committee on the Administration of Justice expressed concern. “Under the current Home Office position that the North of Ireland-born people should be treated as British, this means that no Irish citizen born in the North could benefit from the retained EU citizens’ rights under the Withdrawal Agreement, that are to be accessed by the EU Settlement Scheme,” he said. Mr Holder said Ms Nokes is at odds with the GFA.
“Her position makes a mockery of the agreement’s pledge that it is the ‘birth right’ of people born in the North to be accepted as Irish or British (or both),” he said. Back in December 2017 separate UK-EU commitments were made for arrangements for Irish citizens residing in the North of Ireland to continue to be able to exercise EU rights – but these arrangements were never put into place.
“This Home Office position means Irish citizens here may be among the only EU citizens not to have a mechanism to retain some of their EU rights.” Ms Nokes caused controversy last year when she admitted to the House of Commons Northern Ireland Affairs Committee that she had not read the Good Friday Agreement “in its entity”. A Home Office spokesman said on Wednesday night it was ” absolutely committed to upholding the Belfast (‘Good Friday’) Agreement which confirms the birth right of the people of the North of Ireland to identify as British or Irish or both, as they may choose, and to hold both British and Irish citizenship. “We respect the right of the people in the North of Ireland to choose how they identify,” he said.
With many thanks to: Connla Young and The Irish News for the original story.
THE IRISH NEWS Pro fide et patria
Rights battle was ludicrous hurdle
WHILE Theresa May offered little fresh thinking on the Brexit crisis during her two-day visit to Belfast, which ended on Wednesday, she deserves credit for indicating that the alarming saga over citizenship rights endured by Co Derry woman Emma DeSouza could at last be close to a positive outcome.
Mrs DeSouza, as a holder of an Irish passport, was ludicrously told by the UK’s Home Office that she needed to declare herself to be a British citizen if her US-born husband, Jake, was to be granted a visa officially allowing him to live at their Magherafelt home.
After the issue was repeatedly highlighted by The Irish News, Mrs May said she had specifically asked Home Office Sajid Javid to consider how such cases could be addressed as a matter of urgency. There will be relief when Mr DeSouza’s application is finally approved but it remains disturbing that his wife needed to go to court in order to demonstrate her entitlement to an Irish identity under the Good Friday Agreement.
With many thanks to: The Irish News for the original story.
I grew up in one of the most militarised areas of Europe. We all remember these pictures too well…This was our normality!
Denying the truth doesn’t change the facts!
With many thanks to: Megan Fearson for the original posting.
Follow this link to find out more about the Anti-Catholic, Anti-Gay, Anti Irish and Homophobic DUP: https://amp-belfasttelegraph-co-uk.cdn.ampproject.org/v/s/amp.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/politics/arlene-fosters-feed-the-crocodiles-snap-could-come-back-to-bite-her-35431386.html?usqp=mq331AQCCAE%3D&_js_v=a2&_gsa=1#referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com&share=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.belfasttelegraph.co.uk%2Fnews%2Fpolitics%2Farlene-fosters-feed-the-crocodiles-snap-could-come-back-to-bite-her-35431386.html
What is an Irish Hard Border from an Irish Catholic point of view because of Brexit? = well the answer to that question depends on whither you are a Catholic or a Prodestent. At the moment we have ‘free movement’s in Ireland (North and South) and after Brexit that ‘free movement’ will end forever. The majority of the population in the North of Ireland voted against Brexit as did Scotland and Wales. What was voted for in England 🇬🇧 should never be forced upon the Celtic Nation’s. It was an English choice not ours! We as Catholics are a minority in the North of Ireland and the DUP are trying their very best to undermine the conditions of the ‘Good Friday Agreement’. Which they agreed to and signed up to in 1998. Brexit is against all of the principal’s signed up to in the agreement.
Follow this link to find out more: https://amp-belfasttelegraph-co-uk.cdn.ampproject.org/v/s/amp.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/dups-arlene-foster-says-there-was-never-a-hard-border-in-ireland-37714456.html?usqp=mq331AQCCAE%3D&_js_v=a2&_gsa=1#referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com&share=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.belfasttelegraph.co.uk%2Fnews%2Fnorthern-ireland%2Fdups-arlene-foster-says-there-was-never-a-hard-border-in-ireland-37714456.html
Former Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain says that the Good Friday agreement and an open border between the Republic and Northern Ireland “should not be touched.”
He told RTE’s Today with Sean O’Rourke show that the open border issue is the Achilles heel of Brexit and that common customs and a single market agreement are the only solutions to the Irish border.
The Irish government is right and should not budge on the matter of the Good Friday Agreement, he said.
Talks needed to find hard border solution says DUP’s Jeffrey Donaldson
“It is an international treaty.”
The Labour peer added that he could not see the Irish government agreeing to a bilateral deal, as they could not because it would breach EU regulations.
The Good Friday Agreement is a bilateral agreement between the Republic and the UK, but it is underpinned internationally and to seek any changes would “lead back to Brussels, as it should,” said Mr Hain.
“This is getting messier by the day. The red line should be avoiding a hard border and maintaining the Good Friday Agreement.
To tamper with the Good Friday Agreement is to tamper with the peace process and should be avoided.
He described the current situation in the UK as “an astonishing mess” that was “unprecedented in living memory.”
The British government was “in absolute shambles with no one clear answer.”
There is a need to go back to basics, he said, but the Good Friday Agreement and the open border should not be touched.
When asked about the bombing in Derry at the weekend, he said that in times of uncertainty and instability there was an opportunity for terrorists and troublemakers who always wanted to undermine the peace process.
He said he could not see the “Derry/Londonderry bomb separate from this shambles.”
With many thanks to: The Irish Examiner for the original story