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  • Author: Caspar Fithin
  • Publication Date: 02-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Peter Mandelson, resigned in acrimonious circumstances last week. Mandelson was a key figure in the reconstruction of the Labour Party in the 1990s and the most prominent partisan of early euro entry in the UK cabinet. While Mandelson's departure will be felt within the Labour Party and comes at a critical time in the Northern Ireland peace process, the most substantial impact is likely to be on the internal debate within the cabinet over euro-area entry, with the consequence of a diminishing likelihood of an early referendum on the issue.
  • Topic: Government, International Trade and Finance, Politics
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, North Ireland
  • Author: Oxford Analytica
  • Publication Date: 05-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: The political outlook in Northern Ireland has, at least in the short term, been transformed by the political document released by the British and Irish governments and the subsequent statement issued by the IRA. This involves the exchange of a detailed timetable towards the implementation of the Good Friday agreement — including reform of police and security arrangements in the province — for a commitment from the IRA that at least part of their weaponry can be subject to external inspection. This bargain is likely to be enough to permit devolution to be restored shortly. The Northern Ireland peace process has been at an impasse since the British government suspended the operation of devolved institutions on February 11. It did so because the IRA had offered no clear indication as to how it might initiate the process of arms decommissioning — a situation that left Ulster Unionist leader and First Minister David Trimble extremely exposed in his own party. The narrow margin by which Trimble was re-elected leader by the Ulster Unionist Council in March, and that body's further insistence that the proposed reform of Northern Ireland's police force — the Royal Ulster Constabulary — be diluted before devaluation was restored, appeared to plunge the peace process into a state of permafrost.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe, North Ireland
  • Author: Oxford Analytica
  • Publication Date: 02-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: The IRA announced last night that it was suspending all cooperation with the International Commission on Decommissioning and withdrawing all proposals that it had previously placed before it. Tony Blair, the UK prime minister, and Bertie Ahern, his Irish counterpart, will meet today amid a crisis atmosphere. While there is no immediate prospect of an outright return to violence by the IRA, the Good Friday agreement, if not the peace process itself, is at risk.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe, North Ireland
  • Author: Oxford Analytica
  • Publication Date: 01-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: The formal position of the United Kingdom government that it favours entry into the European single currency 'in principle', but subject to five economic tests and popular sanction in a referendum, masks increasingly deep splits among senior ministers as to what exactly this formula means in terms of practical timing. A profound disagreement between the treasury and the foreign office, personified and led by their respective politicians, exists and is likely to intensify both in the run-up to the next UK election and throughout the next parliamentary term.
  • Topic: Government, International Trade and Finance, Politics
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe
  • Author: Oxford Analytica
  • Publication Date: 11-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) Council will meet on November 27 to deliberate the political understanding reached between First Minister-elect David Trimble and the Sinn Fein leadership. Trimble will probably achieve the level of support necessary for devolution to occur in Northern Ireland, by a narrow margin. However, significant political difficulties, remain to be addressed in the months following devolution. The medium-term prospects for the peace process will primarily depend on the IRA's approach to implementing its commitment to decommission.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe
  • Author: Oxford Analytica
  • Publication Date: 09-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: The attractions of the single european currency are likely to draw the Scandinavian countries into the euro-area by around 2003. However, the outlook for United Kingdom accession is complicated by differences in its economic profile compared with the rest of the euro-area, combined with its enduringly euro-sceptical public opinion. These factors are likely to postpone its accession until later in the decade.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe
  • Author: Oxford Analytica
  • Publication Date: 08-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: In the past nine months, the United States and the United Kingdom have pursued a low-intensity military campaign against Iraq. Such actions have been made easier by a lack of political scrutiny. However, the US administration in particular now faces mounting criticism from France, China and Russia, who favour a relaxation of policy, and domestic US interest groups favouring a more activist stance. Despite these pressures, US President Bill Clinton is unlikely to change policy significantly in his remaining 18 months of office.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Iraq, United Kingdom, Middle East, France