The Guardian view on foreign policy after Brexit: growing pains

Washington is waiting for Boris Johnson to realise that he needs a constructive strategic partnership with his European neighbours It is not unusual for disputes between neighbours to be petty, but small spats express major misunderstandings. So it is with Brexit. There are tensions wherever the boundaries of the UK meet the EU. In the […]

Sunak’s stamp duty holiday extension has merely inflamed the housing market

Throwing money at an already heated market looks nonsensical and could lose the Treasury £2bn Surprise, surprise. Presented, or so they thought, with an end-March deadline to save a few thousand pounds on stamp duty, buyers rushed to complete their house purchases. Mortgage lending in the month reached a new record. It requires no imagination […]

Trial of ex-soldiers over 1972 killing of Official IRA member collapses

Two army veterans acquitted of Joe McCann’s murder after judge ruled some evidence inadmissible Two former British army paratroopers accused of murdering an Official IRA commander during the Troubles have been acquitted after their trial in Northern Ireland collapsed. The two veterans, known as soldiers A and C, had been accused of murdering Joe McCann […]

Queen and Boris Johnson lead tributes to Northern Ireland on centenary

Band parades and church services held, while ‘united Ireland’ banner is hung from Belfast tower block Northern Ireland has marked its centenary with low-key commemorations, reflecting a mixed mood of pride, resentment and post-Brexit uncertainty. The Queen and Boris Johnson led tributes to the region on its 100th birthday on Monday with carefully worded statements […]

Sir Jeffrey Donaldson launches campaign to become DUP leader

MP for Lagan Valley says he will face Edwin Poots to create first leadership contest for party Sir Jeffrey Donaldson has announced a bid to become the next leader of the Democratic Unionist party (DUP) and by extension become the next first minister of Northern Ireland. The MP for Lagan Valley said in Belfast on […]

‘Complex identities’ of Northern Ireland being undermined, says ex-official

Ciaran Martin criticises post-Brexit attempts to ‘redesign’ UK based on old notion of English sovereignty The United Kingdom’s unity faces being destabilised by “flag-waving unionism” from English nationalist politicians, one of the most senior officials to emerge from Northern Ireland’s traditionally Catholic community has warned. Ciaran Martin, who created the framework for Scotland’s 2014 independence […]

Arlene Foster may preach unity now, but she led with division | Susan McKay

The DUP has wildly exaggerated the harms done by power sharing – and now Northern Ireland is slipping out of its grasp The Democratic Unionist party had a front-page ad in the Belfast News Letter yesterday. “This union works,” it declared. “Lets build for the #next100.” As the first minister and leader of the DUP, […]

The end of lockdown: exactly how much freedom will we have?

Next month, life is scheduled to return to some sort of normal. However, say scientists, some restrictions may need to remain Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage On 21 June England is scheduled to be released from the final curtailments of national lockdown, with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland planning to follow […]

Anxious unionists in little mood to celebrate Northern Ireland centenary

In Enniskillen for a long time, the unionists kept winning. Now the feeling is of Britishness being lost Covered up and boxed in a storage vault in the town of Enniskillen, two historic oil paintings gathered dust. King William III commissioned the portraits of himself and Queen Mary after he routed Catholic forces in the […]

Forget curtains and cash – Johnson’s legacy will be the bitter taste of Brexit | Polly Toynbee

The prime minister has imperilled peace in Northern Ireland, and every day the economic fallout worsens Amid slippages, losses, vanishing investments and export drops, the drip, drip of Brexit damage never stops. I collect examples every week, as if picking up spent mortar rounds from a battlefield. On Wednesday, it was 450 jobs lost as […]

Arlene Foster to step down as Northern Ireland first minister

Foster says she will stand aside as DUP leader on 28 May and as first minister a month later Arlene Foster has announced she is stepping down as leader of the Democratic Unionist party and Northern Ireland’s first minister after a sudden internal party revolt. Foster issued a statement on Wednesday afternoon saying she would […]

Arlene Foster has been thrown to the wolves by Johnson’s Brexit games | Martin Kettle

Northern Ireland’s first minister has paid the price for believing the promises of the hard Brexiteers If 23 out of your 27 devolved assembly members, plus four of your eight Westminster MPs, along with lots of your local councillors and party members, have all signed letters calling on you to resign, then politically speaking, you […]

Arlene Foster faces DUP revolt that could topple her as leader

Several Northern Ireland assembly members sign letter calling for leadership contest Arlene Foster is facing a revolt from Democratic Unionist party (DUP) members that threatens to topple her as party leader and first minister of Northern Ireland. Multiple DUP assembly members signed a letter on Tuesday calling for an unprecedented leadership contest, according to party […]

Without pragmatism, the protocol will poison Northern Irish politics | Peter Shirlow

While loud voices demand unyielding political conviction, the majority’s hopes for jobs and investment in the wake of Brexit are ignored The historian Alexandre Koyré once said: “The mob believes everything it is told.” Too often in Northern Ireland, it is the politicians that believe everything the mob tells them. Propagandised loyalist bloggers and social […]

Former paratroopers deny murdering IRA chief during Troubles

Two veterans plead not guilty at Belfast crown court in trial over shooting of Joe McCann in 1972 Two former paratroopers have denied murdering an Official IRA commander during the Troubles, in a closely watched trial in Northern Ireland. The two veterans, known as soldiers A and C, pleaded not guilty at Belfast crown court […]

Mourne Mountains fire fighting operation to continue into third day

Firefighters have been tackling huge gorse blaze in the Northern Ireland beauty spot since Friday An operation to put out one of the largest gorse fires in recent years in Northern Ireland is to continue into a third day. More than 100 firefighters have been tackling the blaze in the Mourne Mountains since Friday. Continue […]

Two men arrested over attempted murder of police officer in Northern Ireland

Bomb found near car in Derry was attempt to kill officer and her daughter, say police Two men have been arrested in connection with the attempted murder of a police officer in Northern Ireland. The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) said a man, 36, was arrested in the Lettershandoney area in County Derry and […]

Ex-minister Johnny Mercer says ‘almost nobody’ tells truth in Johnson’s government

Former veterans’ minister says it was ‘most distrustful, awful environment I’ve ever worked in, in government’ The former veterans’ minister Johnny Mercer has launched an extraordinary attack on Boris Johnson’s government, describing it as a “cesspit” and “the most distrustful, awful environment I’ve ever worked in”. A day after his resignation, the MP also accused […]

Wetherspoon’s to reopen dozens more pubs as lockdown eases

Chain to reopen 44 sites in England, 60 in Scotland and 32 in Wales on 26 April, and three in Northern Ireland on 30 April Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage The pub group JD Wetherspoon will reopen another wave of pubs in England on 26 April, along with venues in Scotland […]

Defence minister Johnny Mercer dismissed from government

Junior minister had indicated he was preparing to quit over concerns about prosecutions of Northern Ireland veterans Johnny Mercer has been abruptly dismissed as a junior defence minister after accusing Boris Johnson of breaching a commitment to implement a controversial pledge to prevent veterans who served in Northern Ireland from being prosecuted. The junior minister […]

Coronavirus live news: Merkel will receive AstraZeneca vaccine; Northern Ireland lockdown easing to be unveiled

German chancellor will be vaccinated on Friday; NI executive to outline reopening dates; Cambodia ‘on brink of death’, says premier Germany’s third wave needs drastic measures, says health chief Cancelling Tokyo Olympics ‘remains an option’ says Japanese politician Use ‘garlic-breath distancing’ to stay Covid-safe, says expert Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid vaccine research ‘was 97% publicly funded’ US […]

Unionist leaders in Northern Ireland must banish the ghosts of grievance and rage | Susan McKay

Fearing democracy, the DUP and loyalist groups are retreating into a paranoid huddle A few of the boys and men asked about their alleged involvement in last week’s street violence in Northern Ireland spoke as if struggling to remember troubled dreams. A person was holding a plastic off-licence bag. They had already had a lot […]

In the Thick of It by Alan Duncan review – Johnson is a ‘buffoon’, Gove a ‘freak’

The diaries of the former Tory minister dismiss the PM’s Brexit arguments as ‘puerile junk’, but Britain’s stagnant politics is the real target Serious times call for serious people. If living through a global pandemic had somehow failed to underline that, then the sight of violence returning to the streets of Northern Ireland in recent […]

Brexit isn’t the cause of the Belfast riots – but it is harming political reconciliation | Matthew O’Toole

Young people who weren’t even born when the Good Friday peace deal was signed are being drawn in to old rivalries Politicians in Northern Ireland share something with the royal family on certain occasions: a heightened sense of the power of the symbolic act. This gift for symbolism was in evidence on Monday, as Irish […]

Arlene Foster tells court she was humiliated by tweet alleging affair

DUP leader is suing TV doctor Christian Jessen over claim of relationship with protection officer Arlene Foster, the first minister of Northern Ireland, has told a court she was humiliated by unfounded allegations of an affair with a protection officer. The Democratic Unionist party leader is suing the TV doctor Christian Jessen for tweeting what […]

Irish-born DUP peer refuses to take Home Office test for British passport

Willie Hay accuses Home Office of discriminating against him and 40,000 other people born across border A Democratic Unionist peer has said he has been forced to hold an Irish passport because of discrimination by the Home Office. Willie Hay, Lord Hay of Ballyore, told MPs he would not submit to a Life in the […]

Young people in Northern Ireland: share your thoughts ahead of the centenary

We would like to hear from young people in Northern Ireland on their views and experiences Northern Ireland will soon mark the centenary of the state’s foundation in May 1921 after the partition of Ireland. Demographic changes and Brexit have fuelled questions about whether the region’s future lies in the UK or a united Ireland. […]

What is really behind the riots in Northern Ireland? – podcast

The Guardian’s Ireland correspondent, Rory Carroll, looks at what is fuelling loyalist anger in Northern Ireland The Guardian’s Rory Carroll talks to Anushka Asthana about the recent eruption of violence in Northern Ireland that began at the end of March, triggered, Rory says, by the decision of the police and prosecutors not to arrest or […]

The Belfast violence shows young working-class people have been failed again | Stephen Donnan-Dalzell

A Northern Irish generation was supposed to inherit peace and prosperity – instead they got secondhand trauma It’s 23 years since the signing of the Good Friday/Belfast agreement, which effectively brought the conflict in Northern Ireland to a halt but didn’t deliver on the promises of peace, prosperity and stability. It would be easy to […]

UK and EU edge closer to deal on Brexit checks in Northern Ireland

Efforts are focused on removing ‘rolling deadlines’ from border control implementations, sources say The UK is edging towards a new deal with the EU on Brexit arrangements for Northern Ireland with the potential for easing border checks on certain goods. Officials in London and Brussels have been involved in intense “technical talks” in the past […]