Newton Emerson: The Irish Government is clearly pondering changes to powersharing

Focus should be less on changing rules and more on driving new dynamics between parties

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: he said he wanted an end to the Northern Assembly’s designation system where members must declare themselves ‘unionist’, ‘nationalist’ or ‘other’

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar: he said he wanted an end to the Northern Assembly’s designation system where members must declare themselves ‘unionist’, ‘nationalist’ or ‘other’

In these momentous days it is easy to miss significant developments. Taoiseach Leo Varadkar should have garnered more attention last week when he stood up in the Dáil and demanded the end of mandatory powersharing in Northern Ireland.

Responding to a question from Green Party leader Eamon Ryan, who called for a “redesign” of Stormont’s “mandatory coalition arrangements”, Varadkar did not agree directly but said he wanted an end to the Northern Assembly’s designation system where members must declare themselves “unionist”, “nationalist” or “other”.

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