Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Cross Border Co-Operation Declan Breathnach TD has welcomed the publication of a report by the Good Friday Agreement Committee on Brexit.
The Committee held a series of detailed meetings with key stakeholders over the past 10 months outlining the core priorities for Ireland in the context of the Good Friday Agreement.
The final report has set out a series of recommendations to ensure that Brexit does not undermine the cornerstone of the peace process. The publication comes as Brexit negotiations open this week in Brussels around the future relationship of the UK with the EU.
Deputy Breathnach, who is Vice-Chairperson of the Good Friday Agreement Committee, commented, “This report highlights the key actions that need to be taken to ensure that the Good Friday Agreement remains fully intact in the face of Brexit.
“The issue of the border is rightly taking precedence in talks and there is a pressing need for clarity on how we can avoid the return of a hard border which would only serve to divide communities in the North and South.
“Maintaining a strong North – South and Irish – UK link will be important in helping to ensure the institutional framework of the Good Friday Agreement remains resilient. Securing EU funding into the future is another vital component which must be examined as PEACE funding has played a central part in improving investment in border communities. Losing this funding after 2020 would be a devastating blow.
“Progress has been made with the EU declaration that Northern Ireland can re-join the EU automatically with a vote for re-unification. However the priority has to be practical steps to avoid a hard border and maintain the peace process. The Government should continue its all-island dialogue to help progress these aims over the next critical 18 months of negotiation,” concluded Deputy Breathnach.