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?

Are business rates in Larne the same as Regent Street in London?

CLAIM: Business rates on Main Street in Larne are the same as Regent Street in London.

CONCLUSION: INACCURATE. Higher property values in Regent Street mean that average rates are much higher there than Main Street in Larne. Continue reading Are business rates in Larne the same as Regent Street in London?

Is public spending in Northern Ireland 45% higher than in Ireland?

UPDATE: This article has been amended to take into account updated figures from the Office for National Statistics, which suggest that public expenditure per person in Northern Ireland was near par with Ireland in 2019–20.

CLAIM: Public spending in Northern Ireland is 45% higher than it is in Ireland.

CONCLUSION: INACCURATE WITH CONSIDERATION. Using public expenditure as a measure of public spending, total public expenditure per person in Northern Ireland in 2015–16 was 10% higher than in Ireland. More recently, it was near par with Ireland. As a part of national output (GDP), government consumption contributed an estimated 45% more, per person, in Northern Ireland than it did in Ireland. But government consumption excludes aspects of spending, like investment in roads and social welfare. Continue reading Is public spending in Northern Ireland 45% higher than in Ireland?

Can 45 NI Assembly members vote together to revoke and remove the Northern Ireland Protocol?

CLAIM: If 45 members of the Northern Ireland Assembly vote to revoke the Northern Ireland Protocol, then the Protocol goes. 

CONCLUSION: INACCURATE. The Assembly cannot simply vote and “the Protocol goes”. By December 2024, the Assembly will vote on whether to continue with or withdraw consent for Articles 5–10 of the Protocol (but not the whole Protocol). Continue reading Can 45 NI Assembly members vote together to revoke and remove the Northern Ireland Protocol?

Is full-time paid maternity leave in the UK one of the lowest in Europe?

CLAIM: The provision of full-time (equivalent) maternity pay in the UK is among the lowest in Europe.

CONCLUSION: ACCURATE. In an OECD report, the UK ranked 9th lowest of 33 European countries for “full-rate equivalent” paid maternity leave. Including home care leave (childcare), the UK ranks 4th lowest in Europe. Continue reading Is full-time paid maternity leave in the UK one of the lowest in Europe?

Does Ireland have the fastest growing economy in the Eurozone?

CLAIM: Ireland has the fastest growing economy in the Eurozone.

CONCLUSION: ACCURATE. According to the most recent annual figures, Ireland has the highest annual rate of GDP growth (both as an absolute figure and if adjusted for the size of population) of the 19 countries in the Eurozone. However, Ireland is ranked lower if other economic measures, such as Gross National Income are considered. Continue reading Does Ireland have the fastest growing economy in the Eurozone?