Is Brexit endangering the Good Friday Agreement?
With the Good Friday Agreement Britain and Ireland achieved a ceasefire for Northern Ireland on 10 April 1998. On the Agreement's 20th anniversary Irish journalists take a worried look at the Brexit negotiations. Peace in Northern Ireland will be endangered if those calling for a hard Brexit get their way and a hard border is reintroduced in Ireland, they warn.
A milestone on the road to reconciliation
The Good Friday Agreement brought Northern Ireland significantly closer to lasting peace, the Irish Examiner writes:
“Sectarianism still thrives, there are more peace walls now than 1998 and sporadic violence and dissident paramilitary acts persist. Nonetheless, amid fresh attempts to undermine the peace accord by Brexiteers in Westminster, it is worth remembering the ordinary differences the agreement has provided for the North. Gone are the armed checkpoints, violent street clashes, repeated horrific bombings, bigotry in everyday life, and a fear of entering some neighbourhoods.”
Don't jeopardise fragile peace
Radical British EU opponents must not be allowed to endanger the Good Friday Agreement in the interests of a hard Brexit, TheJournal.ie demands:
“The UK government has spent the last two years preoccupied with an internal power struggle between those who can see the cliff edge getting closer and closer and who know what awaits us at the bottom, and those who see Brexit as an end in itself and damn the consequences for the people caught in the collateral damage. There are those in the Cabinet and in the ranks of the ideological hard right who see the Good Friday Agreement as a tedious incumbrance to their form of Brexit rather than the corner stone of a hard won peace process that is not yet complete. They cannot be allowed to put that at risk.”