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Good Friday Agreement

(156 Posts)
CatherineTheLate Sat 06-Jul-19 23:59:15

It's often said (and this has been repeated here) that we cannot have a hard border with Ireland because of the Good Friday Agreement (Belfast Agreement). Obviously, this would only apply to goods anyway because the UK and Ireland have a Common Travel Area which predates the EU and its predecessors, but can someone point out to me which part of the GFA it would breach?

You can get a copy of the GFA here www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/136652/agreement.pdf and its only 35 pages long so it won't take long to read. Remainers will obviously be very keen to show me.

AgileLass Sun 07-Jul-19 00:03:46

Here you are OP, a 65 page academic study on that very topic, if you really want to know (I suspect you don’t)

www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/STUD/2017/596826/IPOL_STU(2017)596826_EN.pdf

CatherineTheLate Sun 07-Jul-19 00:42:28

Thanks, but as you are probably aware, this paper avoids the question rather than answering it and tends to be more interested in the principles it claims are behind the agreement rather than to the GFA itself.

This is useful for the EU because it means that it can attempt to move the debate away from what was actually agreed to what it thinks are the reasons it was agreed. From fact to speculation.

By the way, this is not an academic paper but an EU position paper written by two academics.

But to return to the question, which part of the GFA does a hard border breach. If you will quote the GFA, that will be useful.

LifeContinues Sun 07-Jul-19 04:29:19

To OP

I can't find any specific reference in the GFA that prohibits a hard border between North and South, but it talks about self determination and mutual interests. That there has been no hard border since the GFA was established in1998 may set a precedent?

With respect to Brexit the drafted WA made it clear that there would be no hard border, but did not go on to say how that would be achieved. A permanent solution had to be found and agreed between UK and EU before the Protocol that results in NI being in both the Customs Union and the Single Market becomes obsolete.

There lies the issue as it would drag the entire UK into Customs Union as not possible to have one set of rules for NI that don't apply to the other member states of UK. Hence WA rejected three times.

RuggerHug Sun 07-Jul-19 08:37:29

There can under no circumstances be a border. Brexit was (partly) about the UK wanting control over borders but they just forgot about NI when saying this. It's up to them to find a solution because people, livestock, goods all go over the 'border' that is there every day. For work, to get to the nearest hospital, schools everything. UK wants their section to be different but it's not because of the people there who are Irish, not British.

OP think about if one section of England wanted to stay and was cut off/bordered to make everyone happy. Think of the logistics involved. Now add in that there was already a military enforced border for decades which purposefully killed innocent people in NI.

Why the hell should anyone agree to that so that brexit voters who have never been to NI/understand it get to say 'we took back control but the Paddys were very unaccomdating'.

I should probably have waited until my coffee kicked in so I could reply more politely and coherently but bloody hell.

Mistigri Sun 07-Jul-19 08:42:06

Why the hell should anyone agree to that so that brexit voters who have never been to NI/understand it get to say 'we took back control but the Paddys were very unaccomdating'.

They don't care. Most of them think that Ireland should still be a British colony. That sounds provocative, but it's the logical conclusion of most of the brexiter "solutions" to the Irish border, which involve the Irish government doing what they are jolly well told.

It is funny how "sovereignty" only ever applies to the British (just like only British people can be expats).

LifeContinues Sun 07-Jul-19 08:54:48

There can under no circumstances be a border. Brexit was (partly) about the UK wanting control over borders

Think the phrase Border Control was more related to immigration from outside the UK as opposed people crossing between NI and ROI. I have friends who work in Malaysia, but work In Singapore and cross the border twice every day. No issues at all.

Mistigri Sun 07-Jul-19 08:58:53

I think life is confused about the difference between borders for immigration purposes and borders for trade purposes, like all the other Brexit numpties who think that because you can ski over the Swiss border without checks you must also be able to drive a lorry across it without checks.

These people are either dishonest or ignorant.

Peregrina Sun 07-Jul-19 09:31:44

Try looking for a copy of the Good Friday Agreement yourself, CatherineTheLate, and reading it and then try to answer your own question.

RuggerHug Sun 07-Jul-19 09:34:34

LifeContinues I see what you mean but you've just proved my point. The British imposed border in Ireland wasn't even considered. There's over 60 countries in the world (iirc) that celebrate getting independence from Britain. How many of them should Britain be able to go up to and say 'hey lads, we're back, can you just give up all your rights and the lives you've enjoyed without us now, really would help us out, pip pip pip pip, we brought tiffen'.

LifeContinues Sun 07-Jul-19 09:45:40

How many of them should Britain be able to go up to and say 'hey lads, we're back, can you just give up all your rights and the lives you've enjoyed without us now

None. That’s why if UK wants to make trade deals with others they will have to give something in return.

CatherineTheLate Sun 07-Jul-19 09:47:50

"That there has been no hard border since the GFA was established in1998 may set a precedent?"

Sorry, that's wrong, the last checkpoints were not removed until 2005.

But as you say, the GFA does not prohibit a hard border as the EU claims.

InTheHeatofLisbon Sun 07-Jul-19 09:53:12

Bored on a Sunday morning are we OP?

Ok, put a hard border in. You stand at the first checkpoint and see how easy it is.

After all, remainers and anyone who considered the GFA must be so desperate to show you.

Find out for yourself.

CatherineTheLate Sun 07-Jul-19 09:53:53

The passage of people between the two countries is as a result of the Common Travel Area which predates the EU and is independent of it.

There are currently some checks between the UK and Ireland anyway.

InTheHeatofLisbon Sun 07-Jul-19 09:55:48

Hold the front page everyone, CatherinetheLate knows it all!

We're saved!

Oh wait.......

CatherineTheLate Sun 07-Jul-19 09:58:51

So can you move animals and other agricultural produce over the border without the possibility of phytosanitary checks? No. It's just that the number of checks will increase.

bellinisurge Sun 07-Jul-19 10:07:01

Yes, it's a really good idea to try and tell people that some stupid fuckwittery that will change their daily lives and expectations fundamentally is fiiiiine. Because it isn't specifically forbidden in a legal agreement written at a time when no one thought we would be so stupid as to vote Brexit. Especially when NI didn't vote for Brexit. Especially if it is what England thinks is best for Ireland.
That'll go brilliantly.

CatherineTheLate Sun 07-Jul-19 10:09:08

"Bored on a Sunday morning are we OP?

Ok, put a hard border in. You stand at the first checkpoint and see how easy it is."

Actually, I don't want a hard border. My point is that the EU is claiming that there is something in the GFA which is not there and is demanding that the UK accepts the EU's terms because it will otherwise breach the GFA. There is no need for a hard border, it's only the EU, the Establishment and the Remainers who try to use this as leverage.

I've just asked where this provision is, I take it from your answer that you are trying to deflect the question because you are aware that there is no such provision.

NoBaggyPants Sun 07-Jul-19 10:10:06

I'm guessing Catherine doesn't understand the nuances of legal language. The primary intent behind the GFA is that it hands power to the people of the island of Ireland. Anything that is done without the majority agreement of the people is contrary to the agreement, and we don't need reminding of the situation that would very likely return us to.

CatherineTheLate Sun 07-Jul-19 10:10:49

Ok, so you agree that it isn't in the GFA which means that there is no need for a backstop to preserve the GFA.

bellinisurge Sun 07-Jul-19 10:11:56

That's right, dear. Whatever you say, dear.

SonEtLumiere Sun 07-Jul-19 10:13:59

3. We are committed to partnership, equality and mutual respect as the basis of relationships within Northern Ireland, between North and South, and between these islands.

I would say Brexit shits over this; you don’t seem to understand that because you don’t know what Respect looks like in NI.

.... and yes there are zero sanitary/phytosanitary checks between Ireland and NI. That’s because they play to the same rule book. Raw milk exports from NI to Ireland (30% of their biggest industry) will stop on day 1.

I really wish Leavers would start to take a bit of responsibility for their vote and for what’s going to happen, they will expect people to lick their feet if Brexit leads to the Sunlit Uplands, but are all “Not Me Guv” when it is looking like a disaster.

CatherineTheLate Sun 07-Jul-19 10:14:14

Absolutely. So tell stupid Catherine why the UK is breaching the GFA when it is happy to preserve open borders until the tech solution is in place. Please quote or make specific references instead of just saying that you are cleverer than I am. That's not a valid argument.

InTheHeatofLisbon Sun 07-Jul-19 10:14:34

I'm not deflecting, I'm sick fed up of combative posts, making pedantic points when in actual fact if anyone who voted leave had stopped to consider anyone but themselves (and especially the GFA which is the most important piece of legislation in the later 20th century) none of this would be happening.

Who gives a fuck what is said or written where. The very idea of a hard border in Ireland/Northern Ireland would be catastrophic, and if the fucking idiots who wanted to close the borders had considered that in the first place none of this shit would be happening.

For the millionth time, the UK isn't one country, it's 4. But the other ones don't count.

It was well documented that the Irish border was an emotive and contentious issue before the referendum.

It was also well documented that a hard border would likely restart civil war.

But that didn't matter to the Leavers did it?

No. They either didn't care or didn't consider it.

Many claim they didn't know which is frankly ludicrous and only shows their ignorance and wilful stupidity.

Many also seem surprised that the Irish/NIrish aren't willing to just do as they're told, again.

NoBaggyPants Sun 07-Jul-19 10:14:42

No, you're completely misunderstanding the EU (and the UK's position). If we don't have free trade (and free movement in general), there must be some sort of hard border, otherwise goods and people will be able to flow freely. Both parties agree with that principle.

Having established the need for a hard border, the GFA then becomes an issue, because the people of the island of Ireland do not want one. Such an imposition against the will of the people, and hence would be a breach of the GFA.

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