Former Taoiseach says Brexit will see Britain ‘tear up’ Good Friday Agreement
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Former Taoiseach says Brexit will see Britain ‘tear up’ Good Friday Agreement

FORMER Taoiseach John Bruton has claimed Brexit will see Britain ‘tear up’ the historic Good Friday Agreement.

The 1998 agreement between the British and Irish governments and many of Northern Ireland’s political parties was a major development in the peace process.

Referenda in Ireland and Northern Ireland saw the majority people on the island of Ireland vote in favour of the agreement, with Ireland changing its constitution to be bound by its terms.

It also saw Ireland’s constitution amended to consider the island of Ireland a community of individuals with a common identity rather than a national territory.

Bruton told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Saturday that Britain will be tearing up the agreement in the event of Brexit.

“Unfortunately in Ireland we had no say in this [Brexit] – the British people decided on this freely. In so doing, they effectively negated a referendum we had in Ireland,” Bruton the programme, reports BBC News.

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“Remember, we changed our constitution, took certain articles out of our constitution in return for an international commitment from Britain to the Belfast Agreement which guaranteed fair treatment of both communities in Northern Ireland, that neither community would be isolated.

“We changed our constitution to make that deal and Britain then comes along unilaterally and essentially decides to tear that up by proceeding with Brexit… and that’s why we have insisted on a backstop to protect the Good Friday Agreement, so that Britain can’t do that.”

Britain is scheduled to leave the EU on March 29, 2019.

With British Prime Minister Theresa May facing a challenge to convince parliament to vote on her Brexit deal, the prospect of a no-deal Brexit grows ever likely.