Saturday 17 August 2019

North's status within UK would be 'thrown into jeopardy' by no-deal Brexit, warns Tory MP Grieve


Fears: Dominic Grieve. Photo: Victoria Jones/PA Wire
Fears: Dominic Grieve. Photo: Victoria Jones/PA Wire
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

Conservative MP Dominic Grieve says Northern Ireland's status as part of the UK would be "thrown into jeopardy" by a crash-out Brexit.

Mr Grieve, a former UK attorney general who has been spearheading efforts in the House of Commons to prevent the UK leaving the EU without a deal, made the remarks during a visit to Dublin.

He said a crash-out Brexit would make a political crisis about Northern Ireland's future status more likely.

He argued that its current status within the UK works because a majority of the population are comfortable with the arrangements delivered by the Good Friday Agreement. He said this "includes sections of the nationalist community as much as the unionist".

He added: "That, I think, will be thrown into jeopardy by a no-deal Brexit."

He said he was concerned at a possible return to violence in the North, when asked about the possibility of a Border poll as part of a route to a united Ireland.

He said the history of the Troubles showed a series of clear grievances held by sections of the community which meant they "wouldn't accept the ordinary democratic process" because they felt their way of life was under threat and they were discriminated against.

He raised the prospect of loyalist violence if there was a Border poll.

"Bringing about Irish unification ... through the mechanism of Brexit has always struck me as being a very bad idea," he said.

Irish Independent

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