What happens if the UK refuse to implement it, or trigger A16?
There are specific reasons for either side to be able to trigger Art 16. The fact that the UK have not fully implemented the protocol is not one of them.
If the UK do not carry out their side of an international agreement, then they can be legally challenged. In addition, every country around the world is watching the UK government sign an agreement and then immediately renege on it. This will not make it easier to sign trade deals around the world.
I found this article from Brian Feeney in the Irish News on how NI is being left further behind the RoI as while the RoI is receiving EU post-pandemic funding, NI is left waiting on funding from WM. Yet another loss to the region 😒
Dunno if your sad-face is fully warranted in this case, since the notion of a UI is lukewarm with the North's population. Even with the Brexit fallout I suspect many, including Nationalists, would still hitch their wagon to London. I haven't seen much clamour or noise calling for change in that regard.
In that case you've not been looking very hard because there has been a massive amount of discussion towards a border poll and UI in the last 12 months or more. Probably the biggest trend after Covid and then Brexit...
Wiki has gathered opinon poll results on the matter. The result is still a No, but in given 5-10 years the trend could be a strong Yes.
This doesn't make sense. Brexit has literally no upside for anyone who is not a billionaire wishing to avoid the EU's tax directive.
As someone who was raised in the Protestant, Unionist tradition, I can no longer finish the sentence "I believe that the Union between Britain and NI should continue because..." The NHS is only going to get worse and if Brexit wasn't going to be so bad for NI, it wouldn't have needed to retain access to the single market for goods.
The DUP have killed Unionism, not just by supporting Brexit (Had they backed remain, it would have made no difference) but by insisting on the harshest possible terms for reasons beyond my reckoning.
The key thing to note in those polls is that both the YES and the NO vote are falling in current trends.
The optimistic United Irelander would say that the more people are undecided, the more they can be persuaded, the pessimistic one would say that people may be looking for a third way out in a plague on both sides.
Or that people are waiting for a plan from those who constitutionally aspire to unity.
Once again NI is going through significant change, perfectly natural that there would be indecision ahead of any proposal. Scottish Referendum saw the exact same. Just over 30% in favour of Independence when the Referendum was called, went to damn near winning the thing after the debate and the publication of the White Paper by the Scottish government. Took many pleas and inducements to win it for Remain. 'Pleas and inducements' that will add to the independence campaign next time out because the Westminster government reneged on them.
Problem is, indecision doesn't meet the conditions of the GFA. A border poll has to be likely to pass, not that there is indecision. We are a long long way from even contemplating holding a border poll.
No, the UK courts found that there are no restrictions on how the SoS decides on a poll.
He/she is under no legal onus to say why they think it might pass.
More clutching at straws here, this has been demonstrated (the legal position) many times before. Your 'long long way' view therefore is only an opinion from someone in favour of partition.
I think you are overstating the meaning of the court case.
The court found that the SoS didn't have to explain why he wasn't holding a border poll, that still leaves the possibility of a judicial review should he decide to hold one. The court case was about trying to force him to set the criteria in advance of a decision.
Here is what the Court considered:
The issues for determination at first instance were (a) whether the respondent was required to publish a policy governing the discretion to hold a border poll under section 1 and Schedule 1 paragraph 1 of the NIA and (b) whether the respondent was required to publish a policy governing the requirement to hold a border poll under section 1 and Schedule 1 paragraph 2 of the NIA.
The principal finding which rubbishes those who suggest the decision will be based on Opinion Polls. It is, the court found, essentially a 'political' decision. Good luck to anyone trying to waste money on a judicial review in that case.
 The assessment involves an evaluative judgment as to a likely outcome. We consider that it is essentially a political judgment. It is assigned to and is to be performed by the respondent, a politician who is to form an assessment as to the political views of others. The political judgment as to the likely outcome of a border poll is not a simple empirical judgment driven solely by opinion poll evidence. It is also not a simple judgment based purely on perceived religion. The judgment depends on what are the prevailing circumstances at any given time. For instance a likely outcome may involve an evaluation as to whether there are other factors which will impact on voting intentions crossing traditional party or perceived religious lines and if so as to their impact. Instances of such factors are changes in social attitudes North and South, relative economic prosperity North and South, the taxation structures North and South, the outcome of Brexit and the nature of future trading relations between both parts of Ireland which in turn depends on any agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union.
The rest of the judgement is here.
And I don't disagree with any of that. Essentially, the court said that the criteria could not be set in advance. However, the court didn't give the SoS carte blanche, and still leaves open the possibility of a judicial review should the SoS unreasonably decide to hold a poll. In that case, he would be required to explain himself in court.
The court very clearly lays out the criteria and does not allow it to be challenged - the 'political' decision of the SoS based on current events. Which means a BP could be called at any time, in effect.
Unionism in the North is dying, slowly but surely. As a proportion of population in the North, they're getting smaller and smaller.
They are on the 'wrong' side of virtually all modern social/political topics - abortion, gay marriage, equality, respect of other cultures, climate change, international cooperation (most Unionists supported Brexit and still do, despite it being one of the biggest own goals in political history).
Unless some radical change occurs, they will become less and less relevant over the years and will be whittled down to a point where they'll have hardly any influence on this island.
That will be the moment when we should attempt to trigger the process of reunification. If you do it now or within the next 5 years, they'll have more sway in the formation of the new state and I think that'll be a needless mistake.
It'd be like giving dinosaurs a say in the formation/structure of towns/cities even though you know they'll be extinct (or close to it) in the not too distant future.
And this is happening quite quickly by the way. I can see traditional unionist influence becoming a fraction of what it currently is in the next 10-15 years.
Very possible, but just not now. The traditional/hard right unionists would cause us too much hassle and make it more painful than it needs to be. I have no respect for much of their 'traditions' and have no wish desire to give them prominence in a new state.
Wait until they're smaller, weaker and have less influence/power. It's a process that continues each day..
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