Why Is the Good Friday Agreement at Risk

The Northern Ireland Protocol, which is part of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement, ensures that there is no hard border on the island of Ireland. It is a tailor-made solution for a unique and sensitive situation. The decision violated the provisions of the Northern Ireland Protocol, a provision of the Brexit deal that London struck with the EU to allow the free movement of goods and people between Ireland, an EU member state, and Northern Ireland, which left the EU in January along with the rest of the UK. He said the protocol violated the guarantees of the Good Friday Agreement, also known as the Belfast Agreement, to protect the status of both communities. Loyalist resentment was comparable to that of 1985, when Unionists and Loyalists held mass rallies against the Anglo-Irish agreement, Campbell said. Last week, Ireland`s foreign minister and the vice-president of the European Commission briefed a group of US lawmakers on the latest developments in terms of tensions over the terms of the Brexit deal, which went into effect earlier this year and sealed the UK`s withdrawal from the regional bloc. The Loyalist Communities Council, a coordinating group representing the views of the UVF, UDA and Red Hand Commando, has written a letter to Boris Johnson and Irish Taoiseach Micheál Martin, warning of a "permanent destruction" of the 1998 peace agreement without any changes to the post-Brexit arrangements for Northern Ireland. The 2016 referendum on the UK`s membership of the EU reminded the people of Northern Ireland that they were divided. London`s quest for a hard, sovereignty-driven Brexit meant the impact on Northern Ireland would be difficult. Controls and controls on the flow of goods between the United Kingdom and Ireland were to take place either on the Irish Sea between Great Britain and Northern Ireland or at the land border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

The British media and the opposition Labour Party have treated this extraordinary fragmentation of the British single market with a little lightness. Now, the UK government seems determined to act unilaterally – and illegally – rather than use the provisions of the Withdrawal Agreement. Johnson`s populist priority is to keep the mood of Brexiters in "Little England" warm and not to pay serious political attention to protecting the peace process. Governance: Although the DUP and Sinn Féin (Northern Ireland`s largest nationalist party) were opposite sides of the Brexit debate, a few months after the referendum they sent a joint letter13 to Prime Minister May with shared concerns about the impact on Northern Ireland. The region`s voice has been lacking in these talks since January 2017, when the power-sharing executive – a key part of the Good Friday Agreement – collapsed after disagreements between these parties over mismanagement of a green energy program. Repeated attempts to restore government have failed, amid disagreements over the Irish Language Act14 and the polarising nature of Brexit policy. In practice, there is currently no government15 in Belfast: civil servants stop the fires but are reluctant to make politically sensitive decisions, the British Secretary of State for Northern Ireland theoretically has oversight, and Westminster has adopted a budget to maintain the solvency of the region. In the event of a no-deal Brexit, the senior British official recommended that the direct rule be introduced to deal with the consequences;16 Although London regained Belfast`s decision-making power in various locations in the first decade after the deal, the suspension of decentralized government would now be controversial. U.S.

senators on Tuesday introduced a resolution reaffirming U.S. support for the Northern Ireland peace agreement signed more than two decades ago. The resolution should be adopted before st. Patrick`s Day will be revealed as concern grows in Washington that a post-Brexit dispute between London and the European Union will jeopardise the Good Friday agreement. After the peace process removed the border of the island of Ireland from Northern Ireland`s policy, Brexit led to a return to border policy. Unionists oppose additional restrictions, controls and controls on the movement of goods from Britain to Northern Ireland. A border along the Irish Sea has emerged. Others remain committed to ensuring that there is no return to a hard land border. The second way the peace process could fail is more likely: diplomatic miscalculations have unintended consequences that culminate in violence on the streets of Northern Ireland. The Good Friday Agreement survived for twenty-three years, not only because of its detailed conditions, but also because it received the approval of the vast majority of nationalist and unionist communities.

Opponents of the deal have been marginalized – so far. The recent enthusiasm of some unionist paramilitaries warns of possible imminent problems. The risk of things escalating is not yet high, but it can no longer be completely ruled out. A dispute over the introduction of new controls on commercial goods transported between mainland Britain and Northern Ireland weighed on the 1998 Irish peace agreement that ended three decades of bloodshed – "the unrest" – in Northern Ireland. There are many ironies here. In the 2016 referendum on the UK`s eu membership, the majority in Northern Ireland voted to stay, but it was the Brexit-backed Democratic Unionist Party that kept former British Prime Minister Theresa May in power, pushed for a problematic hard Brexit and is now outraged by the inevitable outcome of this path. Yet May at least aimed to keep the UK in the EU`s customs union indefinitely in order to reduce risks to the peace process. Banned unionist paramilitary groups that were slow to accept the peace deal in 1998 have now said they are temporarily withdrawing their support for the peace deal due to concerns about the implementation of Brexit. Nevertheless, on two occasions, the UK Government has taken measures that violate both the letter and the spirit of the Northern Ireland Protocol, which is part of the Withdrawal Agreement. More recently, in March 2021, London unilaterally decided to extend the grace periods for the control of certain goods imported into Northern Ireland from Great Britain. He called it "quite strange" that a sovereign government has outsourced the pursuit of an international agreement to a regional assembly.

Loyalist paramilitary groups supported the Good Friday Agreement and have no desire to revive unrest. But elements of the UVF, UDA and Red Hand Commando are an obscure presence in Northern Ireland, and some are linked to crime. His words of warning accompany a growing chorus of voices advocating the protection of the Good Friday Agreement in the face of the intransigence of the British government. But in truth, the agreement was never fully operational, as the vast majority of human rights protection measures were not implemented and the institutions barely functioned. We must not only protect the agreement; We must implement it. Stephen Farry, an MP from the Centrist Alliance Party, said the loyalist withdrawal from the Good Friday Agreement was a political and symbolic gesture. "However, this has no practical consequences. The agreement is based on the double referendums of 1998. I am more concerned about the continued escalation of rhetoric and the construction of unrealistic expectations that the protocol can be replaced if there is no plausible alternative. Nevertheless, the agreement won the support of 71% of voters in Northern Ireland and 94% in the Republic.

Some members of Congress have usefully pointed out the cost of a no-deal Brexit for Northern Ireland. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sounded the alarm last April when she and several colleagues traveled to London, Dublin and Belfast to warn that Congress would not support an American UK. A trade deal that undermined the peace process.30 The co-chairs of the Friends of Ireland group in the House of Representatives, MPs Richard Neal and Peter King, made a similar bipartisan promise.31 The debate in Congress took place in the letter from Senator Tom Cotton and 43 Fellow Republicans to Prime Minister Johnson, who advocated a trade deal "regardless of how Brexit unfolds," 32 The loyalists` letter came amid renewed resentment between Downing Street and Brussels over the government`s unilateral act of giving Northern Irish businesses time to adjust to post-Brexit rules. .

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