EU Debate NI

EU Debate NI: Where NI goes next?

Following the decision by the UK electorate to Leave the EU, The Centre for Democracy & Peace Building (CDPB) are to continue their ‘EU Debate NI’ programme thanks to support from the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust.

EU Debate NI took a neutral position to stimulate and inform debate in Northern Ireland on the consequences of remaining in or leaving the EU.

The EU Debate NI Briefing Paper set out the issues and the questions to be considered in respect of the referendum in Northern Ireland, while the outreach events and online toolkit engaged thousands of people in understanding the different issues and arguments in the Referendum.

Lord Alderdice, CDPB Chairman speaking in the House of Lords said:

“We developed a public conversation which we called EU Debate NI. I pay tribute to Eva Grosman and Conor Houston from the Centre for Democracy and Peace Building that I run in Belfast. This became the major initiative in Northern Ireland: a public conversation, not campaigning for one side or the other, but enabling people from all sides and with all views to come together in public and engage on the legal, constitutional, educational, agricultural, industrial, economic—all aspects of the question.  It meant that in Northern Ireland the debate was able to be conducted without some of the rancour and vitriol that there was in other parts of the UK.”

EU Debate NI will create the space for informed debate through events, online engagement and community outreach across NI. There will be a new Briefing Paper produced in conjunction with academics from Queen’s University Belfast setting out a roadmap and summary report of options for Northern Ireland.  EU Debate NI will make this accessible to communities and groups across Northern Ireland and promote a national conversation about how Northern Ireland can best protect its unique and special interests post-referendum.

EU Debate NI looks forward to engaging all across our society in this important discussion – follow us on Twitter @EUDebateNI or visit our website at www.eudebateni.org

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EU Debate NI launch referendum toolkit to help unpack the issues

EU Debate NI have today launched their online referendum toolkit to allow individuals and groups across Northern Ireland to unpack a wide range of issues in their own time and in their own way in the run up to the poll on June 23.

A programme of the Centre for Democracy and Peace Building, EU Debate NI takes a neutral position on the referendum.

Introduced by comedian Shane Todd, the online resource uses graphics, video and the contribution of experts to answer questions about

  • the wording of the referendum question, who can vote and how to register;
  • an overview of the key arguments from the Leave and Remain campaigns;
  • the stance taken by the main political parties in Northern Ireland;
  • the consequences on sovereignty, freedom of movement, immigration, the economy and funding streams
  • the process of leaving.

The EU Debate NI Toolkit can be freely access online at http://eudebateni.org/referendum/

This online resource builds on six interactive workshops held before Easter that shone a light on some of the issues underpinning the European Union referendum and stimulated informed debate.

In locations across Northern Ireland, attendees examined the potential affect on the border and trade; the impact on the agri-food and fishing sectors; the perspective of higher and further education; the views of those in the community, peace building and public sectors; as well as legal and criminal justice implications.

One final event asking the Remain and Leave campaigns to outline their Competing Visions for the future of the UK and Europe will be hosted in Queen’s University’s Riddel Hall over breakfast on Thursday 2 June.

For further details and requests for interviews, contact EU Debate NI programme director Conor Houston on 07930967694 or conor.houston@democracyandpeace.org

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First EU Debate NI event launched in Belfast City Hall

The first EU Debate NI event was launched in Belfast City Hall by Deputy Lord Mayor Alderman Guy Spence on Friday, 5 February. It brought together representatives from across business, public and community sectors to discuss the issues that need to be considered in Northern Ireland in relation to the upcoming UK referendum on continued EU membership.

EU Debate NI is a programme of the Centre for Democracy and Peace Building (CDPB). CDPB are taking a neutral position in this debate, seeking to stimulate and inform debate on the issues in this referendum.

Conor Houston, Programme Director at CDPB commented following the event that “it was a lively, engaging and interactive event. We had round table discussions together with interactive polling allowed for diverse opinions and a range of views to be debated – including issues around trade, cross-border, immigration, effect on peace-funding and many other topics.”