Are 60% against “The Backstop” in Northern Ireland?

CLAIM: 60% of people in Northern Ireland are against the backstop.

CONCLUSION: Inaccurate. 35% of all those polled in a LucidTalk poll responded that they would oppose some sort of special status for Northern Ireland; 60% of Unionists polled were opposed to one option of special status, because “it would be bad for the NI economy”. Continue reading Are 60% against “The Backstop” in Northern Ireland?

Is border trade 0.5% of UK-EU trade?

CLAIM: There are approximately 100 lorries per day crossing the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland, and cross-border trade represents 0.5% of UK-EU trade.

CONCLUSION: Inaccurate with consideration. There are 5,900 lorry (heavy goods vehicle) crossings daily. Cross-border trade represents 0.97% of UK-EU trade; alternative figures may be due to different measurement practices between countries. Continue reading Is border trade 0.5% of UK-EU trade?

Are half of the people in Fermanagh and Omagh living in poverty?

CLAIM: Over half of the residents in Fermanagh & Omagh District Council are living in poverty.

CONCLUSION: Inaccurate. 25.1% of people in Fermanagh and Omagh lived in relative and/or absolute poverty, from 2012-15. The claim was corrected by the Fermanagh Herald on 6 February 2019. Continue reading Are half of the people in Fermanagh and Omagh living in poverty?

Do our farmers receive 62% of income from EU?

CLAIM: 62% of income received by farmers in Northern Ireland comes from the European Union.

CONCLUSION: Accurate. The average payment received from the EU (£27,648) in 2016-17 represented 62.4% of total farm income (£44,305). This ratio fluctuates with market prices; it ranged between 52% and 71% during 2012-13 to 2016-17. Continue reading Do our farmers receive 62% of income from EU?

10 years of Nieuwscheckers

10 years of Nieuwscheckers
by Ferre WOUTERS for FactCheckNI
25 January 2019

Nieuwscheckers is a Dutch project for students in journalism at the University of Leiden. Supervised by lecturers Peter Burger and Alexander Pleijter, students monitor the media looking for statements or articles that make their eyebrows frown. Once such a claim is found, they ask the journalist who published the claim to clarify on which it is based. Students then investigate this and publish their conclusion online. Continue reading 10 years of Nieuwscheckers

Semtex and powdered milk: A history of Ireland-Northern Ireland border checks

Semtex and powdered milk: A history of Ireland-Northern Ireland border checks
by Ferre WOUTERS for FactCheckNI
21 January 2019

At an event in London on 15 January 2019, Arlene Foster (Leader, DUP), stated that during the Troubles there has not been a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland. When asked what she meant by this, she explained: “The borders of the past were there for a completely different reason. They were there to stop terrorists, they were there to stop the flow of Semtex (explosives), as opposed to the flow of powdered milk.” Continue reading Semtex and powdered milk: A history of Ireland-Northern Ireland border checks