Brexit: John Bruton says Britain has decided to 'tear up' GFA with Brexit

Former Taoiseach John Bruton also says a no-deal Brexit will lead to a hard border in Ireland.

John Bruton
Former Taoiseach John Bruton told the Today programme that a no deal would lead to a hard border in Ireland

Britain has decided to "tear up" the Good Friday Agreement by going ahead with Brexit, a former Irish prime minister has said.

John Bruton argued the Brexit vote had "negated" the 1998 referendum held in NI and Ireland, which showed a majority in favour of the peace agreement.

He argued a no deal will lead to a hard border on the island.

Mr Bruton also said Sinn Féin's refusal to take their seats in Westminster was a "tragedy".

Unilaterally

"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," Mr Bruton told BBC's Today programme.

"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."

Mr Bruton served as Taoiseach between 1994 and 1997. He was later appointed as the EU's ambassador to the US between 2004 and 2009.

On Tuesday, members of parliament in the UK are expected to hold their vote on Prime Minister Theresa May's plan for the UK's withdrawal and future relationship with the European Union.

The key vote has been delayed from 11 December 2018.

The UK is scheduled to leave the EU on 29 March 2019.

"One suspects that those who object to the backstop are people who don't really ever expect there will be an acceptable agreement that would avoid a hard border in Ireland or between Ireland and Britain," added Mr Bruton.

On Sinn Féin's policy of abstention at Westminster, he said: "Ireland was partitioned in 1920 when Sinn Féin refused to take their seats after the 1918 election.

"Sinn Féin have refused to take their seats on this occasion and the most serious threats to the position of Northern nationalists are now about to be realised - with no Sinn Féin, no Northern nationalist voice there to argue a different case.

"I think it's a great shame, it's a tragedy."




Date: 12 January 2019 | Source: BBC

More UK News

Octopus 'off menu' at Oxford University's Somerville College

The head of Somerville College says octopus was served to the surprise of a new undergraduate

BBC Asian Network news editor on trial 'trusted journalist'

A sex abuse victim's name was used on radio because a reporter said it was a pseudonym, a trial hear..

Farage seeking 'new party' in case UK fights Euro elections

The former UKIP leader also says Leavers must be ready for another referendum

Older drivers: Is age a factor behind the wheel?

As the number of over-90s with driving licences continues to rise in the UK, are there any safety fe..

Leicester explosion: Three men jailed for murdering five people

Five people - including a mother and her two sons - were killed in the insurance scam explosion

Shoreham air crash trial: Pilot Andy Hill 'did nothing' to avoid crash

The Old Bailey hears the jet's decent was "not being controlled" before the crash on the A27
View More

More Telford News

 3.2 per cent council tax rise approved for Telford

An 3.2 per cent increase in council tax within Telford & Wrekin has be..

 Telford council leader in fresh attack on Future Fit plans

Telford's council leader has renewed his criticism of Future Fit, saying t..

 Games in Shifnal to honour Gary

A role playing club stayed awake for more than 24 hours after putting on a..

 Three arrests made in Telford burglary probe

Three suspects have been arrested in relation to a burglary where £30,000 ..

 There is no place for Future Fit says leader of Telford & Wrekin Council

The Leader of Telford & Wrekin Council is calling on health bosses to ..

 Former coronary care nurse takes top business role at UK medical supply firm

A former coronary care nurse has taken a top role with one of the UK’s lead..
View More

Telford Businesses

Calendar Countdown

Upcoming Events in Telford

19 Jan 2019

Saturday 19 January 7.30pm


Tickets £25

View Details

25 Jan 2019

Friday 25 January 7.30pm


£22.50

View Details

31 Jan 2019

Thursday 31 January 7.30pm


Tickets £23

Concession £21.50

View Details

09 Feb 2019

Saturday 9 February 7.30pm


Adult: £26.50

Concessions: £23.50

View Details
View More