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    The UK government’s Northern Ireland policy after Brexit: a retreat to unilateralism and muscular unionism

    Kelly, Conor and Tannam, E. (2023) The UK government’s Northern Ireland policy after Brexit: a retreat to unilateralism and muscular unionism. Journal of European Public Policy , pp. 1-28. ISSN 1350-1763.

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    Brexit has significantly altered the trajectory of UK government policy towards Northern Ireland. The peace process was implicitly built on a presumption of continued joint EU membership by the UK and Ireland. The EU model of interdependence and cooperation was explicitly stated to be an inspiration by its key architect John Hume. However, the history of British–Irish cooperation over Northern Ireland is long and complex and cannot solely be understood through the lens of Europeanisation. Despite this, the aftermath of the 2016 referendum has seen a retreat by the UK government from a bilateral and consensual approach towards Northern Ireland to unilateralism and a ‘muscular’ unionist ideology. This has affected their governance there, hampering their relationship with local parties and undermining the agreed role of the Irish government. The impact of Brexit on UK government policy towards Northern Ireland has undoubtedly contributed to the destabilisation of the political settlement.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Europeanisation, muscular unionism, Northern Ireland, UK, Brexit, Belfast/Good Friday Agreement
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences
    Research Centres and Institutes: Birkbeck Centre for British Political Life
    Depositing User: Conor KELLY
    Date Deposited: 23 May 2023 15:43
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 18:21


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