Sinn Fein’s Michelle O’Neill hails ‘New Age’ in Northern Ireland after winning
Britain’s deputy prime minister said stability in Northern Ireland was “at risk” due to problems with a post-Brexit deal, following Sinn Fein’s historic election success.
The DUP will refuse to work with the Republican Party on a power-sharing executive unless there are significant changes to the NI protocol.
“It is clear from the dynamic that we see now that we are not going to get to this position of stability unless and until it is fixed,” Dominic Raab told Sky News.
In Westminster, Boris Johnson plans to announce new laws “that deliver on the promise of Brexit” as he looks to recover from the set of painful outcomes for the Conservative Party.
The British prime minister said he will unveil “Super Seven” Brexit bills that will cut red tape and “unnecessary barriers inherited from the European Union” in the Queen’s speech next week.
What is happening in Northern Ireland?
Dominic Raab said earlier today that it is important to arrange the force arrangements in Northern Ireland for stability.
Sinn Fein became the largest party in the House after the victory of their House, which meant that the Republican Party had the right to take over as Prime Minister.
But uncertainty still hangs over the future of Belfast’s delegated legislature. Let’s take a quick look at what’s going on:
Will Michelle O’Neill become first minister?
She would certainly qualify for the position, but there is a distinct possibility that Sinn Féin will be prevented from taking the position of prime minister, at least in the short to medium term, due to the lack of a willing partner in government.
As the second largest party, the Democratic Federal Party (DUP) is entitled to the position of First Deputy Minister.
But crucially, it is not possible to form a properly functioning executive-ministerial body without filling both roles.
The DUP has made it clear that it will not return to power-sharing until changes to the Northern Ireland Protocol are secured.
Is the vote on a united Ireland closer?
While Sinn Fein has not gained further strength by displacing the DUP as the largest party, the result is undoubtedly a symbolically significant moment in the post-Good Friday Agreement era.
The party that wants to see the end of the country called Northern Ireland has the right to be its first minister.
But the overall national vote has not risen and is still behind the general union vote, although the gap has narrowed in recent years.
It is important to remember that the responsibility to call for a vote rests squarely with the UK government.
Zoe TidmanMay 8, 2022 11:29
‘Focus is on getting Stormont up and running’ says Northern Ireland minister
Brandon Lewis also said that there was no “growth” in the national vote in general.
“The number of seats occupied by union parties is still large,” he said.
“So I think the focus at the moment is completely on getting Stormont up and running.”
Zoe TidmanMay 8 2022 11:08
Northern Ireland Secretary meets Stormont leaders
Brandon Lewis, Minister of Northern Ireland, has confirmed that he will meet with Stormont party leaders tomorrow to talk about reviving the Assembly.
Zoe TidmanMay 8, 2022 10:53
Rapp accuses Starmer of ‘hypocrisy of rank’ on ‘Birgit’
He also spoke to the BBC about the allegations against Sir Keir Starmer of breaching the lockdown.
Dominic Raab was asked whether it was fair for the Labor leader to remain in office even if he was fined, given that Boris Johnson did just that.
The Deputy Prime Minister laughed, saying Sir Keir had a “bundle of questions” to answer, including “the hypocrisy of ranks”.
Here is a reminder of Birgit’s claims:
Zoe TidmanMay 8, 2022 10:48
“We have to solve the Northern Ireland protocol problem.”
Dominic Raab made similar comments to the BBC this morning about the Northern Ireland Protocol, saying that issues with it needed to be resolved.
Zoe TidmanMay 8, 2022 10:29
What is the Northern Ireland Protocol?
It seems a good time to summarize the Northern Ireland Protocol, as well as the main sticking points.
Zoe TidmanMay 8, 2022 10:17
Is PM still an asset? Depends on the voter, says Tory MP
The foreign affairs committee chair said Boris Johnson had always been a “divisive figure”.
Sophie Ridge, Tory MP Tom Tugendhat, asked on Sky News if the Prime Minister was still an asset to the Conservative Party.
“Well, that depends on the voter,” he said.
Zoe TidmanMay 8, 2022 10:07
Labor MP Lisa Nandy said Conservative ministers’ attacks on Keir Starmer over the so-called Birgit saga were “absolutely absurd and desperate”.
She didn’t say whether Starmer should resign if he was fined for takeaway. The shadow settlement minister told the BBC Sunday morning.
“It is absurd to equate sequential parties with lies and laughter … and a business event that people go out to eat,” said Ms. Nandi.
She added: “This is a game. This is a game where the Conservative Party is in real trouble – they and their fans in the media are throwing mud in increasingly desperate attempts to get some of them to comment on their political opponents.”
Zoe TidmanMay 8, 2022 10:00
Deputy Prime Minister at Birgit
Dominic Raab has accused Sir Keir Starmer of “complete hypocrisy” over a beer and curry event in Durham that police are investigating for possible breach of coronavirus lockdown laws.
Asked if Sir Keir should resign, the justice minister told Sky News: “It’s double standards that drive people crazy.
“He needs to acknowledge and answer all the loopholes in the account he gave of the Durham beer and curry event.”
Zoe TidmanMay 8, 2022 09:55
Election results and home ownership?
Holding on to the local election results for a moment, Michael Gove suggested that declining levels of home ownership was a major factor in the Conservatives’ heavy losses.
Zoe TidmanMay 8, 2022 09:50