The Island of Ireland in the draft withdrawal Agreement – Dagmar Schiek

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Professor Schiek offers a first legal political assessment of the protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland in the draft withdrawal agreement from legal perspectives. She concludes that the EU Commission’s proposal on the one hand constitutes a major compromise, in that a sectoral approach to the EU Internal Market is allowed for Northern Ireland alone, in order to avoid the need of a physical infrastructure at the border on the island of Ireland. On the other hand, the draft falls short of securing the all-island economy in the service sector, and also has shortcomings in maintaining the hybridity of identities in Northern Ireland as aspired by the 1998 Agreement (also known as Good Friday or Belfast Agreement). TREUP Occasional Paper 3 (2018) An updated version taking into account the provisional agreements between the EU Commission’s and UK government’s negotiation parties on 19 March, is available here :The island of Ireland and the UK in Withdrawal Agreement Draft 19 March 2018 Schiek

Brexit deal: Creative solutions postponed – and much work for legal drafters

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While the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar praises a “politically bullet proof” agreement on avoiding a so-called hard border, pragmatic Commission negotiator Michel Barnier offered a more realistic summary in his press statement:

“Together with the UK, Irish and all EU governments, we will now need to develop creative solutions that work.”

If this is true, the much praised negotiation progress closing phase one Article 50 TEU negotiations may appear as “back to square one” for appreciating the unique situation of the island of Ireland. Even without legal … Continue reading

Why the UK can’t just pick and choose from the EU menu after Brexit

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One of the many as yet unanswered questions thrown up by the Brexit vote is what form the future relationship between the UK and the EU will take. Much attention up until this point has focused on existing models for relations. Will Brexit Britain seek to stay in the European Economic Area or attempt to replicate Switzerland’s set of bilateral agreements? … Continue reading

After the EU Referendum: Establishing the Best Outcome for Northern Ireland

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The overall, UK-wide result was: 51.9% ‘leave’ against 48.1% ‘remain’. Turnout was 71.8% with 17.4 million voters voting ‘leave’ and 16.1 million voters voting ‘remain’. In England and Wales the majority of voters voted ‘leave’. In Northern Ireland, as in Scotland and Gibraltar, however, a majority of voters indicated a desire to remain in the EU. … Continue reading

Beyond the UK Referendum – what next for the EU?

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Almost two weeks after the EU referendum, the world’s media are still focusing on the United Kingdom, its population and the disruption of its political caste in analysing the results of 24 June. This is akin to that long wait for the worst to happen, just like the rabbits’ instinctive immobility when viewing a snake. … Continue reading