Documents to download

On 3 February 2022 the DUP MLA Paul Givan resigned as First Minister of Northern Ireland. This meant the Sinn Féin vice-president Michelle O’Neill also relinquished office as deputy First Minister. Brandon Lewis, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, resisted calls for an early Northern Ireland Assembly election, which is due to take place, as planned, on 5 May 2022.

Since the European Union referendum of June 2016 and the collapse of Northern Ireland’s devolved institutions in January 2017, events in this part of the United Kingdom have assumed a higher profile in Great Britain and in the UK Parliament. Although the UK left the European Union in early 2020 and the Assembly and Executive were restored at around the same time, many issues remain outstanding.

As well as providing an historical overview of Northern Ireland following its centenary year in 2021 and describing the main features of its devolution settlement, this briefing paper looks at several of “key issues” likely to figure during campaigning for the forthcoming Assembly election.

Prominent among these are the Northern Ireland Protocol, legislation dealing with the Irish and Ulster Scots languages, the provision of abortion services and the impact of the Covid 19 pandemic upon Northern Ireland’s economy and public services.

Other sections of this briefing paper also look at Northern Ireland’s distinct systems of law, education and local government.

Documents to download

Related posts