Adams tells Theresa May she's in breach of the Good Friday Agreement

Marco Green
June 19, 2017

The warnings former British prime minister John Major sounded during the week "about the dangers to Northern Ireland as a result of the British general election and the DUP (leader Arlene Foster, above) holding the balance of power should be taken seriously". There is a steady dialogue between the two sides that has never stopped at any point.

Brussels is insisting that the United Kingdom continue paying into the European Union budget to cover pension liabilities, and committed spending to European Union loans and projects.

The most high-profile institution with jurisdiction would seem to be the International Court of Justice which regulates treaties. So basically saying that the rights that they have at the moment as citizens will be preserved when Britain leaves the EU.

Some 55 percent of Northern Ireland's exports go to the European Union, compared with 48 percent for England. Their worry is that it may make the negotiations a little skewed as it may feel like the British government is backing the DUP in talks rather than being objective.

Where does all this leave the DUP and can it exert influence?

The DUP's deal to prop up the Tories at Westminster is also likely to be discussed at Downing Street.

Addressing the Communist Party of Britain's executive committee, he declared that the DUP priority would be to gain more public money and reduce corporation tax on business profits to serve its own narrow interests in northern Ireland.

He said: "In my lifetime we have seen off Section 28 and its equivalent in Scotland, equalised the age of consent, made civil partnerships a reality and then achieved marriage equality". So we have lengthy transition periods to give companies and the government time to adapt. The DUP is believed to want a comprehensive free trade and customs agreement with the European Union and arrangements to facilitate ease of movement of people, goods and services.

Of course he is now concerned with his peace process legacy, but the warnings he sounded during the week about the dangers to Northern Ireland as a result of the British general election and the DUP holding the balance of power should be taken seriously.

Both Sinn Fein and the SDLP have talked of unionist voters now potentially shifting to support Northern Ireland leaving the Union if that was to mean re-joining the EU.

At Sinn Fein's manifesto launch last month, the party's Northern Ireland leader, Michelle O'Neill, said she was "confident that as the consequences of Brexit become clearer more and more people from a unionist background will be open to the idea of exploring new relationships on this island".

If the talks fail it may bring back direct rule from London which after all the good work of the Good Friday Agreement and the time both Sinn Fein and the DUP shared power together would be a complete shame.

Ms May said she was steadfastly committed to the Good Friday Agreement and wanted to see a "close and special partnership" with the Republic of Ireland post-Brexit.

Negotiations are set to continue between the DUP and Conservatives in London, and in Belfast where the five main Stormont parties are trying to restore powersharing. The Tories never really need an excuse to push their right-wing agenda but now they could have the DUP calling the shots as the flawless excuse to carry on with their cold ideology.

"The peace process, which was very hard earned over very many years by a lot of people, people shouldn't regard it as a given".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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