Half-Day Collapse

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The Half-Day Collapse was the collapse of the Sinn Fein-Labour-UWP Executive in Northern Ireland on 23 September 2021, which lasted less than 12 hours. This collapse was condemned by many and the reasons behind the collapse were also condemned. Most thought that an early election was to take place as an agreement was unlikely to happen with the UUP or Coalition. In the end, an agreement between the original parties was struck and the Executive was reinstated.

Background

In June 2021, Sinn Fein - Solidarity's Northern Irish branch - won the most seats in the Northern Irish Assembly, meaning their leader model-al became First Minister. As the biggest party in the 'Other' designation, Labour joined the government and their leader, model-slater, became Deputy First Minister along with the largest 'Unionist' party's (UWP's) leader KalvinLokan.

Coalition! NI and the UUP were the opposition parties at the time.

Reasons for the Collapse

Relationships between the governing parties were obviously breaking down, and there had been fall-outs within the Executive. The Executive seemed to be hanging by a thread in early September.

By mid-September, a motion to call for an increase in corporation tax was read in the Assembly, as well as a Bill to regulate fast-food advertising. The UWP were against both of these Bills and decided, alongside the UUP, to lodge a Petition of Concern against them. This was seen by many as an abuse of the Petition of Concern system as the system should only be used if the peace in Northern Ireland is threatened and to stop civil conflict. Many saw this as an attempt at a filibuster to stop the Bills from being approved by the Assembly.

Sinn Fein and Labour saw this as the last straw and both removed their support from the Executive, collapsing it immediately.

Response to the Collapse

Ulster Workers' Party

The UWP started a smear campaign in the press about Sinn Fein and Labour. This included pointing out each party's failures, calling them "selfish", saying they are "destroying governance in Northern Ireland" and claiming they are trying to push a "Nationalist-led agenda" to "force away Unionists in favour of Sinn Fein's irresponsible management".

Sinn Fein

Sinn Fein released a statement to announce the collapse of the Executive, saying the UWP "is not a party fit for governance", citing their labelling of the Republic of Ireland as "Southern Ireland" and holding Sinn Fein and Labour to "executive hostage".

Labour Party NI

Labour also released a statement on the collapse, naming the UWP "obstructionists" and saying they are "unable of cooperation for the greater good".

Aftermath

An agreement was reached between Sinn Fein, the UWP and Labour to re-establish the Executive less than 12 hours after the collapse. This was seen as surprising given that all three parties had went to the press to smear each other. The agreement was reached so that the partnership could continue until the Winter elections at the end of 2021.

Alliance responded by coining the term Half-Day Collapse, and heavily attacking all of the parties involved in the collapse. Many said that if an agreement could be reached so quickly, there was no point in the collapse in the first place.