8. During the transitional period between the elections to the Northern Ireland Assembly and the transfer of power to it, representatives of the Northern Ireland transitional Administration and the Irish Government operating in the North/South Ministerial Council will undertake a work programme, in consultation with the British Government, covering at least 12 subject areas, with a view to identifying and agreeing by 31 October 1998 areas where co-operation and implementation for mutual benefit will take place. Such areas may include matters in the list set out in the Annex.
NORTH/SOUTH MINISTERIAL COUNCIL
1. Under a new British/Irish Agreement dealing with the totality of relationships, and related legislation at Westminster and in the Oireachtas, a North/South Ministerial Council to be established to bring together those with executive responsibilities in Northern Ireland and the Irish Government, to develop consultation, co-operation and action within the island of Ireland - including through implementation on an all-island and cross-border basis - on matters of mutual interest within the competence of the Administrations, North and South.
(vi) recognise the birthright of all the people of Northern Ireland to identify themselves and be accepted as Irish or British, or both, as they may so choose, and accordingly confirm that their right to hold both British and Irish citizenship is accepted by both Governments and would not be affected by any future change in the status of Northern Ireland.
北愛獨立運動是20年前的事，《貝爾法斯特協議》約相當於九二共識的各自表述。它容許北愛人民有權透過公投脫離英國聯合王國，與南部的愛爾蘭不設關口。愛爾蘭共和國雖然獨立，並自行加入了歐盟，但它與英國聯合王國也沒有什麼關口。它與英國在1923年協議以共同旅行區（Common Travel Area），容許自由出入。
Thousands of Orange Order members took part in Twelfth of July parades across Northern Ireland on Thursday to mark the 1690 victory of Protestant King William of Orange over Catholic King James II at the Battle of the Boyne.
儘管歐盟和英國都強調脫歐後需要保障愛爾蘭利益，不應帶來南北愛的硬海關和邊界，但若脫歐不能達成協議，愛爾蘭共和國是歐盟一員，北愛是英國的一部份，問題就很大。它關係到歐盟與英國訂定一個十分複雜的協議以保障原有的共同旅行區（Common Travel Area）。這點已被歐盟一口拒絕。
“We were both explicit that Northern Ireland is an integral part of the United Kingdom, consistent with the principle of consent in the Belfast Agreement.
And the report is also clear about the need to preserve the integrity of the UK’s internal market, which is vital to businesses the length and breadth of our country – not least here in Northern Ireland.
Yet the Commission’s proposed ‘backstop’ text does not deliver this.”---Teresa May
• Our backstop solution only concerns goods – not people. People will continue to move freely between Ireland and the UK. And obviously between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK. We agreed to protect the Common Travel Area. That was important progress. • And regulatory alignment with the Single Market would be strictly limited to what is needed to avoid a hard border, notably for goods.
To be clear: without a backstop, there can be no Withdrawal Agreement. This is an EU issue, not only an Irish issue.
The backstop is not there to change the UK's red lines. It is there because of the UK's red lines.
goods entering Northern Ireland must comply with the rules of the Single Market and the Union Customs Code.
文翠珊制訂了一份半桶水的白皮書，被此她犧牲了兩位閣員。倫敦市長鮑里斯·強森在國會的辭職發言中說：“it became taboo even to discuss technical fixes.” 他主張以新技術來處理愛爾蘭海關的問題，但文翠珊一口咬定，這種技術並未出世。
Court ruling on civil servants could have major impact on Northern Ireland decision-making
對那些視英國為祖國的港獨來說，他們可能面臨一個難題 ── 支持英國鎮壓愛爾蘭獨立運動，還是參加北愛共和軍呢？
Theresa May’s Brexit speech may break the Northern Ireland peace process
By Henry Farrell
July 19 at 7:33 PM
On Friday, British Prime Minister Theresa May will deliver a speech at Belfast’s Waterfront Hall. Its contents have been widely leaked. May is set to denounce the “backstop” her government negotiated with the European Union as part of the Brexit agreement. She will say that the proposal would breach the Belfast Agreement that secured peace in Northern Ireland and leave the people of Northern Ireland without any representation in trade negotiations. She will say that “the economic and constitutional dislocation of a formal ‘third country’ customs border within our own country is something I will never accept and I believe no British prime minister could ever accept. And as they made clear this week, it is not something the House of Commons will accept either.”
This speech is a very big deal. The backstop arrangement is a crucial part of Brexit negotiations. It also may have major consequences for peace in Northern Ireland. May’s hostility to the backstop probably doesn’t have much to do with constitutional principle. It is more likely driven by politics within her own political party, and the demands of the Democratic Unionist Party, which is propping up May’s minority government.
British Prime Minister Theresa May said: "I want to ensure that the U.K. remains one of the best places in the world for aerospace companies to do business." (Reuters)
Peace and borders are closely connected in Northern Ireland
To understand what is going on, it’s first necessary to understand the role that the European Union played in the Irish peace process. The shared E.U. “customs union” and a “single market” avoided the need for border controls between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. This not only made it possible for the two economies to become highly integrated. It also had symbolic importance, in allowing people and goods to move back and forth between the two jurisdictions, without any necessary implication that Northern Ireland would become politically united with the Republic.
Britain’s decision to leave the European Union has politicized border controls, raising the question of how to reconcile the fact that the Republic of Ireland is still in the European Union, and operates under E.U. customs and market rules, and Northern Ireland soon will not. Unionists — who want to stay part of Britain — do not want any arrangement in which Northern Ireland would have separate rules from Britain. They fear that this might lead Northern Ireland to drift politically closer to the Republic. Republicans and nationalists — and the government of the Republic of Ireland — do not want any arrangement in which Northern Ireland would have a “hard border” with the Republic. The problem is that it is difficult to avoid a hard border, without some kind of special rules and status for Northern Ireland.
This is why the Northern Ireland border question was supposed to be settled before Brexit negotiations proper began. It turned out to be impossible to reach a deal on what to do with Northern Ireland’s status, but E.U. negotiators and the Republic of Ireland accepted a compromise under which Britain agreed on a “backstop” arrangement. The European Union and Ireland interpreted this deal as saying that if no better mutually acceptable arrangement could be found, Northern Ireland would stay in the European Union’s Single Market and Customs Union, allowing the real negotiations to begin.
Britain is backpedaling on the backstop
Britain always wanted to interpret the backstop commitment more flexibly than the European Union. It tried to persuade the European Union to accept a deal under which Britain would stay inside E.U. customs and market arrangements for some period while it sorted out its own long-term status, but would not be bound by the broader commitments of E.U. membership. The European Union made it clear that this proposal was unacceptable, because it would plausibly allow Britain an enormous degree of freedom both in terms of when it decided to leave, and how it interpreted its obligations toward Europe.
Furthermore, pro-Brexit members of the Conservative Party, who had once promised that Britain would remain part of the customs union, now want a much “harder” Brexit than they once said they did. Theresa May, fearing that pro-Brexiters would split her party and perhaps force her resignation as leader, agreed last week to terms imposed by the pro-Brexit faction. One of her concessions was a change to the British customs bill that declared that it would be unlawful for Northern Ireland to be “part of a separate customs territory to Great Britain.” This meant that Britain has legally pre-committed itself to refusing to implement the backstop that the European Union thought had already been agreed.
The politics of the backstop are not being driven by constitutional worries, but by Britain’s inability to get the European Union to agree to a fudged agreement on customs and single market membership, the intransigence of May’s own party members, and the weakness of May’s leadership. It is furthermore likely that the Democratic Unionist Party, which is propping up May’s government, has also demanded that there be no arrangement that would distinguish Northern Ireland from the rest of Britain.
This may destabilize Brexit negotiations — and Northern Ireland
May’s speech will have stark consequences for Britain’s Brexit negotiations. She is presenting the European Union with a fait accompli, binding her government to a negotiating position that the European Union has made it clear it will not accept. It is theoretically possible that this will work to her advantage. Sometimes, as political scientists such as Robert Putnam have argued, weakness at home may turn into strength abroad. If you are too weak, you won’t be able to implement concessions that other governments would like you to make. However, the danger of weakness is that you may be caught in a position that is simply unacceptable to other countries’ negotiators, so that no deal is possible. This is the big risk that May is taking. If her new demands are unacceptable to the European Union, Britain will find itself in a “no deal” Brexit that could have very damaging consequences for the British economy.
Furthermore, the speech’s intransigence is likely to have consequences within Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland’s peace deal was already in serious danger, as a result of distrust between the major parties. May’s speech is likely to be interpreted by nationalists as a strong signal that she is in the pocket of the Democratic Unionist Party. Already, nationalists are having difficulty restraining radicals from returning to “the armed struggle.” May’s speech is likely to add greatly to their difficulties.
Henry Farrell is associate professor of political science and international affairs at George Washington University.
The bright future I want to help build for Northern Ireland is one in which everyone, regardless of their community background or political aspirations, is able to live happy and fulfilling lives and to go as far as their talents and hard work will take them.
I want to say, too, that I share your concern about the episodes of serious disorder in Belfast and Derry/Londonderry last week.
This Government - like the communities here - has been absolutely clear in condemning this activity, which is a matter of deep concern for everyone who wants to see a peaceful and prosperous Northern Ireland.
This violence is not representative of the wider community and I pay tribute to the brave officers in the Police Service of Northern Ireland and the emergency services and others in the community who worked tirelessly to keep people safe.
We are all committed to making sure that Northern Ireland continues to move forward.
In fact, there already are. There can be checks away from the border, and technical solutions as the Prime Minister rightly described at Mansion House. But when I, and other colleagues – and I single out my honourable friend the Right Honourable member from Haltemprice and Howden, proposed further technical solutions to make customs and regulatory checks remotely. Those proposals were never even properly examined, as if such solutions had become intellectually undesirable in the context of the argument. And somehow, after the December joint report, whose backstop arrangement we were all told was entirely provisional, never to be invoked, it became taboo even to discuss technical fixes.