Monday 23 April 2018

US Senator George Mitchell warns British government over 'adverse' decisions which will damage Good Friday Agreement

Senator George Mitchell visits Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, on eve of 20th Anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement.
Photo Chris Bellew /Fennell Photography
Senator George Mitchell visits Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, on eve of 20th Anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement. Photo Chris Bellew /Fennell Photography

Shona Murray

US Senator George Mitchell has warned Theresa May's government over “adverse” decisions in Northern Ireland which will damage the Good Friday Agreement.

Britain “must accept and allow that agreement [Good Friday Agreement], and insist, insist that the promise” to maintain a seamless border “be kept”, he said.

“I've said publicly and I will repeat, I hope very much the governments of the UK and the EU will avoid any decision that has an adverse effect on NI”, he said in conversation in Queen’s University Belfast as part of the twentieth year commemoration of the Good Friday Agreement.

“The British government and EU gave a public commitment and promise four months ago that in their discussions on Brexit they would not allow a hard border on the island of Ireland.

“That's a very important factor. We expect the British government and EU to live up to it, to do what they said.

The former Senator for Maine said that politicians nowadays could learn from those who created the Good Friday Agreement given how the circumstance today are far less “dangerous”.

“In the current environment we should recall and heed powerful moments when governments” acted in spite of the “dangerous and difficult circumstances” they found themselves in.

He said they reached agreement on peace at ‘great’ “risk to themselves and their families and their careers”.

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