CLAIM: There are 208 border crossings between Ireland and Northern Ireland.
CONCLUSION: Unproven. It is extremely difficult to accurately establish the exact number of border crossings, as many informal routes have been established since border infrastructure was removed and many are on private land, but the official number of main routes so far identified by the Irish and Northern Ireland governments is 208. Continue reading Are there 208 Ireland-Northern Ireland border crossings?
CLAIM: 30,000 people cross Ireland-Northern Ireland border daily.
CONCLUSION: Accurate. Indeed, this may be a low estimation, excluding train and other road journeys. Continue reading Do 30,000 people cross Ireland-Northern Ireland border daily?
CLAIM: In Northern Ireland, more people speak Polish than speak Irish.
CONCLUSION: Mostly false. While the 2011 Census data show more people in Northern Ireland speaking Polish than Irish as their main language, based on other available data it is implausible that there are more who speak Polish than Irish. Continue reading TheJournal.ie: Are there really more Polish speakers than Irish speakers in Northern Ireland?
CLAIM: Over a quarter of a million people migrate to the UK from the EU every year.
CONCLUSION: The claim is true, but it doesn’t include the number of people migrating from the UK to the EU: net migration in 2015 was +184,000. There is no single source that tracks migration to Northern Ireland. Medical card registrations are one method. The 2011 Census showed that 2.16% of the Northern Ireland population held an EU/EEA passport. Continue reading What is EU to Northern Ireland net migration?
CLAIM: “The health service in Northern Ireland will especially benefit from the requirement for foreigners – including those from the Republic of Ireland – to pay for hospital treatment.” – Sammy Wilson, Belfast Telegraph, 19 May 2016
CONCLUSION: The claim, while technically accurate, is misleading. Under a variety of different circumstances, foreigners do pay for access to health care already. The proposed legislation would seek ways to extend the scope for foreigners to contribute financially for NHS services, and to increase the incentives for debt recovery. The NHS would save significantly by simply collecting on what it is owed under current exchange schemes with foreign governments. Continue reading Are foreigners a financial strain on the NHS in Northern Ireland?