Does Northern Ireland spend least per pupil?

CLAIM: Northern Ireland spends less on each school pupil’s education than any other part of the UK.

CONCLUSION: ACCURATE. Spending on schools per head of population in Northern Ireland is similar to England, Scotland, and Wales. However, Northern Ireland’s comparatively large school age population means that spending per pupil is lower than elsewhere in the UK. Continue reading Does Northern Ireland spend least per pupil?

Is the Court of Justice of the EU the supreme court for all Protocol issues?

CLAIM: The Court of Justice of the European Union is the supreme court for all Northern Ireland Protocol issues.

CONCLUSION: INACCURATE WITH CONSIDERATION. The Court of Justice of the European Union is the ultimate arbiter on certain Articles of the Protocol, and has an indirect role in interpreting EU laws as part of the agreed arbitration process.  Continue reading Is the Court of Justice of the EU the supreme court for all Protocol issues?

Are ‘extra months’ on pre-Brexit UK passports no longer valid?

CLAIM: Additional months of validity on UK passports issued before the UK left the EU are no longer valid.

CONCLUSION: ACCURATE WITH CONSIDERATION. British passports used to visit the European Union or the Schengen Area following the end of the Brexit transition period must be less than 10 years old on the day the traveller leaves. However, this rule only applies for travel to the European Union or the Schengen Area; the rules for travel to the rest of the world are unchanged, and the new rules do not apply for travel to Ireland. Continue reading Are ‘extra months’ on pre-Brexit UK passports no longer valid?

Does the Northern Ireland protocol require certain aspects of EU law to apply in Northern Ireland and can this only happen if they are incorporated into Northern Ireland law?

CLAIM: The Northern Ireland Protocol requires certain aspects of EU law to apply in Northern Ireland but this can only happen if they are incorporated into Northern Ireland law.

CONCLUSION: INACCURATE WITH CONSIDERATION. Certain aspects of EU law do still apply in Northern Ireland as a result of the Protocol, but these do not have to be incorporated into Northern Ireland law to have effect. Section 7A of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 makes those EU laws applicable in Northern Ireland. Any future legislative changes that may be necessary to implement the Protocol, or related EU laws, could be made at Westminster if Stormont refused to act. Incorporation into Northern Ireland law is therefore not a requirement.  Continue reading Does the Northern Ireland protocol require certain aspects of EU law to apply in Northern Ireland and can this only happen if they are incorporated into Northern Ireland law?

Is a quarter of Northern Ireland’s COVID-19 unvaccinated population unlikely to get jab?

CLAIM: A quarter of Northern Ireland’s population that is unvaccinated for COVID-19 is unlikely to ever get the vaccine.

CONCLUSION: ACCURATE WITH CONSIDERATION. A survey by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) reported that 24% of respondents who had not been vaccinated said that they were “fairly unlikely” or “very unlikely” to get the vaccine. However the headline fails to give context. Only 22% of respondents have not been vaccinated, so the cohort unlikely to get the vaccine represents 5% of those surveyed.  Continue reading Is a quarter of Northern Ireland’s COVID-19 unvaccinated population unlikely to get jab?

A British Army veteran who served in NI during the Troubles is 54x more likely to be prosecuted?

CLAIM: A British Army veteran who served in Northern Ireland during the Troubles is 54 times more likely than a Republican or Loyalist paramilitary to be prosecuted for alleged offences pre-dating the 1998 Belfast Agreement.

CONCLUSION: INACCURATE. Prosecutions to date suggest that ex-British Army personnel have been the subject of cases five times more than Republican and Loyalist suspects. The cited ratio of 54 times “more likely” was based on a snapshot of live prosecutions and takes no account of previous cases. Continue reading A British Army veteran who served in NI during the Troubles is 54x more likely to be prosecuted?