The Belfast Agreement must not be altered by Brexit
2 Oct 2018
Speaking on behalf of the Northern Ireland Committee meeting of the ICTU, Owen Reidy, the organisation’s Assistant General Secretary in responding to comments attributed to Arlene Foster the DUP leader stated;
“The Belfast Agreement must not be altered by Brexit, indeed it must be implemented in full with a Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland to mitigate against the potential damage that Brexit will do to the people of Northern Ireland.
The Belfast Agreement was negotiated by the majority of parties in Northern Ireland with the support of the governments of these islands and all mainstream political parties, but crucially ratified by referendum by the majority of people in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
As well as being the peace agreement, it is the de facto constitutional settlement and cannot simply be amended as if it were a simple piece of legislation. All parties to these Brexit discussions need to take a step back and tone down the rhetoric. In the interests of workers and wider society across Northern Ireland we must insist that the outcome of these Brexit negotiations ensures:·
- No hardening of the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland;
- No border within the UK between Northern Ireland and Britain in the Irish sea;
- No economic border between these islands. It is now time that all in the political class come forward with viable solutions to achieve this ambition. No deal is no option.”