The governments of Northern Ireland and the UK are today discussing political stability in the area. There is political chaos in Northern Ireland, which borders EU member state Ireland, now that the pro-British DUP party no longer wants to participate in a government because the party does not agree with Brexit agreements made.
The problems have been around since the Brexit referendum, seven years ago this week. We negotiated with the British for a long time, it cost four different British prime ministers their heads but last February we finally reached an agreement on this problem.
For example, special rules have been agreed for the import and export of goods going to the UK via Northern Ireland and Ireland. However, the pro-British DUP party does not agree with the arrangements made. ‘They feel that this way Northern Ireland remains half in the European Union and cannot not join the UK.’
The DUP is essential to the Northern Ireland government. It was previously agreed that the party should always be in government. Since last year, however, the DUP no longer has a political majority, and the party is blocking the formation of a Northern Ireland government and parliament. This makes Northern Ireland ungovernable.
At the British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference (BIIGC), a consultative body of the UK and Ireland, the British want an end to political chaos. Prime Minister Sunak has repeatedly said that there must be a government. With the ultimate consequence being a united Ireland, if that does not happen. The question, however, is whether a solution to the conflict can be reached today. The stalemate has been going on for more than a year now.
There are fears that political chaos could reignite the flame in Northern Ireland. People have been afraid of that for some time. The peace between Protestants and Catholics is actually a kind of truce. The DUP was for Brexit but the majority in Northern Ireland wanted to belong to Europe. There are also more and more people in favour of joining Ireland.