General election 2019: What's at stake in Northern Ireland?

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Image caption The UK general election will take place on 12 December

What's at stake in Northern Ireland in this Westminster election?

For EU remainers and nationalists it's a chance to turn the tables on the DUP, who have been enjoying their moment in the sun propping up the Conservatives for the last two years.

Anxiety over Brexit and annoyance that the DUP is viewed as the sole voice of Northern Ireland in the Commons has led the SDLP, Sinn Fein and the Greens to take some radical steps.

Their unofficial election pact could remove the DUP Belfast South MP Emma Little-Pengelly and put the party's deputy leader Nigel Dodds under intense pressure in the north of the city.

The DUP is also under fire from its rival, the Ulster Unionists.

New leader, same rivalry

Read full article General election 2019: What's at stake in Northern Ireland?

Abortion recall: Another bizarre day in recent Stormont history

  • 21 October 2019
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Image caption DUP leader Arlene Foster and assembly members are applauded by supporters on Monday

Stormont has witnessed some pretty bizarre days before.

Rumbustious exchanges over the renewable heat scandal, a police raid on the Sinn Féin office, the sight of the armed loyalist Michael Stone jammed in the doors by the brave security staff who thwarted his attempt to kill Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness.

Read full article Abortion recall: Another bizarre day in recent Stormont history

Brexit: DUP under pressure over 'blood red line' U-turn

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Image caption Previously DUP representatives ruled out any economic border down the middle of the Irish Sea

EU chiefs and the Irish government don't think Boris Johnson has moved far enough to ensure no hard border in Ireland after Brexit.

However, back in Northern Ireland the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) is coming under pressure from other unionists for performing a U-turn on its previously declared "blood red line".

Read full article Brexit: DUP under pressure over 'blood red line' U-turn

Gauging NI's response to the PM's Brexit offer

Boris Johnson and Arlene Foster Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Boris Johnson says giving Stormont this new responsibility should be an incentive to get the Assembly back up and running

It sounds eminently reasonable.

Under the contentious Brexit backstop, the people of Northern Ireland were expected to abide by EU trade rules.

Read full article Gauging NI's response to the PM's Brexit offer

Brexit: Where might room for backstop compromise lie?

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Image caption Boris Johnson said a no-deal Brexit would be a "failure" by both the British and Irish governments

When Boris Johnson headed to Dublin on Monday there were no obvious signs of common ground between the British and Irish governments over alternatives to the border backstop.

But many expected the prime minister to repeat his "germ of an idea" for a common food and agriculture zone across Ireland.

Read full article Brexit: Where might room for backstop compromise lie?

Brexit: Dublin scepticism over replacement for backstop

Boris Johnson
Image caption The prime minister is due to attend talks with Leo Varadkar in Dublin on Monday

Boris Johnson is due in Dublin for talks with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar on Monday.

Ahead of that, Mr Varadkar's deputy Simon Coveney gave Downing Street a preview of what the prime minister is likely to hear when Mr Johnson sketches out his ideas for replacing what he derides as the "anti-democratic" Brexit backstop.

Read full article Brexit: Dublin scepticism over replacement for backstop

Brexit: No imminent breakthrough in border backstop stand-off

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Image caption The prime minister has shown a willingness to tackle the assertion from Dublin and Brussels that their approach is simply intended to protect the status quo and the Good Friday Agreement

Boris Johnson's letter to EU Council President Donald Tusk doesn't point the way towards any imminent breakthrough in the stand-off over the Brexit border backstop and the ill-fated EU-UK withdrawal agreement.

However, one interesting aspect of the letter is the PM's willingness to tackle head on the assertion from Dublin and Brussels that their approach is simply intended to protect the status quo and the Good Friday Agreement.

Read full article Brexit: No imminent breakthrough in border backstop stand-off

Border poll not priority for Leo Varadkar post-Brexit

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Image caption Leo Varadkar and Mary-Lou McDonald took part in a leaders debate at a west Belfast festival

Although she suggested something to the contrary in an interview a year ago, in recent months Mary Lou McDonald has been consistent that a no-deal Brexit should trigger a border poll.

It's no surprise the taoiseach (Irish prime minister) disagrees.

Read full article Border poll not priority for Leo Varadkar post-Brexit

Conservative leadership contest: NI Tories' fear of betrayal

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Image caption Jeremy Hunt and Boris Johnson faced NI Conservatives in the north Down's Culloden Hotel on Tuesday

Fear of betrayal is a common theme in the history of Northern Ireland politics.

Traditionally it is associated with unionists concerned that Westminster might be about to sell them out in order to do a deal with Dublin.

Read full article Conservative leadership contest: NI Tories' fear of betrayal

Northern Ireland's historic Euro election

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Image caption Out for the count. Northern Ireland used a different voting system from the rest of the UK

Given the arguments over the Brexit backstop revolve around treating Northern Ireland in exactly the same way as the rest of the UK, it's worth pointing out that we just elected our three MEPs using a completely different system from England, Scotland and Wales.

Voters in Great Britain marked their chosen party with an X, whilst in Northern Ireland you indicated your preferences with a "1, 2, 3" - and so on.

Read full article Northern Ireland's historic Euro election