Sunday, 15 May 2022

Solving the Irish Problem

When I first heard of the proposal to create a customs barrier between Northern Ireland and the rest of Britain it struck me as too ridiculus to contemplate. At that stage the Irish problem could have been dealt with very easily. Tbe British Government could have said that negotiating terms for Britain's departure from the EU was proving unexpectedly difficult, and as the referendum was only advisory so that its recommendations were not binding, the Government had changed its mind and Britain would stay in the EU after all.

However it is now too late for that. The government has agreed to accept the so called 'Protocol'. In a recent election in Northern Ireland, a majority of those elected are prepared to accept the Protocal, so we should all just wince and accept it too.

The remaining problem is the government of Northern Ireland. The province needs a new constitution in which it is not possible for a minority to immobilise the Assembly. I suggest that the speaker be elected by a simple majority of assembly members. The first and second ministers should be elected by assembly members using the single transferable vote. The person first elected would be first minister, and whoever was elected second would be second minister. The first and second ministers would then take it in turns to nominate other ministers. A party boycotting the election would simply not be represented in the Government

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