After three years of standstill, Northern Ireland could have a parliament again. The British and Irish governments reached agreement on a draft deal late last week.
The rocky road towards multi-party buy-in was being negotiated as we went to print. It being Northern Ireland, this will, inevitably, not be straightforward. However, as the DUP are no longer kingmakers in Westminster, and Sinn Fein are feeling a vote squeeze, these two biggest parties may be more inclined than not to serve their people again.
You might, rightly, ask why this is significant for the rest of the UK. They’re over there, they keep mostly to themselves these days, and there are big challenges coming this year beyond the island
The reality is that in the challenges coming – and, yes, I’m talking about Brexit – Ireland will be key.
In a time of uncertain futures such green shoots are vital
Northern Ireland in particular will be crucial. Having the Stormont Assembly sit will make the difficult talks over trade and tariffs more straightforward.
One of the stumbling blocks over Stormont sitting was the Irish Language Act. One side wanted it, the other didn’t.