Brexit

DUP's Gavin Robinson complains of breach of Good Friday Agreement - which party opposed

 DUP East Belfast MP Gavin Robinson was interviewed on Nolan Byrne Live, a cross-border Brexit debate broadcast simultaneously on BBC1 NI and RTÉ
Digital Staff

The DUP's Gavin Robinson has been criticised for complaining about a breach of the Good Friday Agreement, which his party opposed.

The East Belfast MP was interviewed on Monday night during a special programme on Brexit simultaneously broadcast by BBC Northern Ireland and RTÉ, hosted by Stephen Nolan and Claire Byrne.

Asked by Ms Byrne where a no deal Brexit left the Good Friday Agreement, he said the courts had agreed that leaving the European Union "is not injurious to the Good Friday Agreeement".

He added: "The Good Friday Agreement of course has been set aside in some of the proposals that we have seen in the last number of weeks, where to agree further north-south cooperation without the consent of the assembly would actually be a breach of the Good Friday Agreement.

"I think it's been hugely regrettable that the Irish Republic govenrment and indeed the European Union have contemplated proceeding with such deals in the absence of unified agreement within Northern Ireland. That has breached the Good Friday Agreement, Strand 2, Paragraph 12, and I that's hugely regrettable."

The section of the agreement, relating to cross-border bodies and the North/South Ministerial Council, states: "Any further development of these arrangements to be by agreement in the Council and with the specific endorsement of the Northern Ireland Assembly and Oireachtas, subject to the extent of the competences and responsibility of the two Administrations."

The comment provoked criticism on social media, with former UUP leader Mike Nesbitt pointing out on Twitter that the DUP opposed the Good Friday Agreement.

Asked why that should preclude the party from pointing out breaches, Mr Nesbitt said "the DUP claimed they renogotiated it at St Andrews".

 

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