Home LATEST NEWS Northern Ireland: after Sinn Fein’s victory, London calls for union

Northern Ireland: after Sinn Fein’s victory, London calls for union


Supporter of a reunification with the Republic of Ireland, Sinn Fein became the first Northern Irish party after a poll organized on Thursday, winning 27 seats out of 90 in the local Assembly, against 25 for the unionists of the DUP, viscerally attached union with Great Britain.

They are threatening to boycott a new local executive, which is to be co-led by nationalists and unionists under the 1998 Good Friday peace deal, if their Brexit demands are not met.

Above all, what we want to see […]is stability. »

A quote from Dominic Raab, British Deputy Prime Minister

We want to see an executive formed and the parties unite to provide this stability to the peopleBritish Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab told Sky News

Before meeting local party leaders on Monday, British Provincial Minister Brandon Lewis also said on the BBC that it was a important moment to show that everyone can work together.

The victory of Sinn Fein, capable of reshaping the United Kingdom, allows the former political window of the paramilitary group Irish Republican Army (IRA) to appoint a local Prime Minister, Michelle O’Neill, for the first time in 100 years of history of a province where Brexit has reignited tensions.

This welcomed the entry into a new era for Northern Ireland, marked by political instability, promising to lead it by overcoming divisions.

Tough negotiations

But the negotiations for the formation of a government promise to be difficult. Because having come second after decades of unionist domination, the DUP – to whom the post of deputy prime minister falls – refuses to join a government as long as the post-Brexit customs controls remain in place, which according to him threaten the integrity of the Kingdom. -United. He urged London to take action to remove them.

It is also clear that this stability is jeopardized by the problems [générés par] the northern irish protocolabounded Dominic Raab.

The latter reiterated his government’s desire to renegotiate this text approved by London and the European Union, which confers a special status on the province by keeping it in the single European market and customs union. This is to avoid the return of a hard border with Ireland to reserve peace.

While Brussels refuses, offering only adjustments, the Deputy Prime Minister said he favored negotiation, but did not rule out that London would act unilaterally to protect trade between Northern Ireland and Great Britain, as well that constitutional integrity from the United Kingdom.

Dublin and Washington have also called on Northern Irish politicians to share power.

Sinn Fein and the DUP have 24 weeks to find common ground. Failing this, a new election will have to be organised.

One can easily imagine everyone taking all of those six months to negotiateunderlines Katy Hayward, professor of political sociology at Queen’s University in Belfast, interviewed by theAFP.

But given the urgency of the crises in the cost of living and the health system, an executive must be formed, and we can then think about greater adjustments to the Good Friday agreement. »

A quote from Katy Hayward, professor of political sociology at Queen’s University Belfast

Even though Michelle O’Neill called for a healthy debate on the future of Northern Ireland and that her party is aiming for a referendum on reunification within five years, she felt that the new executive should tackle the soaring cost of living as a priority, after having is campaigning in this direction.

Dominic Raab pointed out to him that 58% of voters had supported parties in favor of union with the United Kingdom or the status quo.

Sinn Fein’s success benefits from the weakness of unionism […] It does not represent a sea change in opinions in Northern Ireland in favor of reunificationanalyzes Katy Hayward.

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