Working to make government more effective

Northern Ireland Assembly chamber

Devolution to Northern Ireland

We assess the operation of devolution in Northern Ireland and examine the UK government’s approach to Northern Ireland in light of Brexit.

Northern Ireland has a unique system of power-sharing that requires political parties from both the unionist and nationalist communities to be in government together. Such arrangements make government possible, but also difficult, which often results in periods of time without a functional executive.  

Our work on Northern Ireland assesses the functioning of government in Northern Ireland, both with and without ministers in place. We also examine the UK government’s approach to Northern Ireland and how its interests and circumstances are considered in Westminster and Whitehall decision-making. This includes the implications of Brexit, the Northern Ireland protocol, and subsequent UK–EU discussions on changes to the original deal. 

Governing without ministers

Northern Ireland during the collapse of the power-sharing executive 2017-2020

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Stormont House