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`Good Friday Agreement not up for negotiation' in Brexit talks
The Belfast Agreement is not up for negotiation in the Brexit talks, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said.

Mr Varadkar told the Dáil that the Government would stand by and defend the primacy of the agreement.

"We see the Government as being co-defenders of that agreement," he said.

"And certainly as far as this Government is concerned the Good Friday Agreement is not up for negotiation in these talks over Brexit."

The Taoiseach was responding to Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald who raised the issue following the publication of a newspaper interview in which DUP leader Arlene Foster said the Belfast Agreement was not sacrosanct and could be changed to facilitate a Brexit deal.

Ms Foster had expressed deep frustration with EU officials and those in favour of the UK remaining in the union, who repeatedly stated that the Belfast Agreement could not be touched.

Ms McDonald said: "The DUP rejected the Good Friday Agreement. They embrace Brexit and on both counts they act in defiance of the wishes of the people in the North."

It should be noted that the Good Friday Agreement is not a matter of simple domestic legislation, as asserted by Arlene Foster, and which could therefore be amended unilaterally by a simple act of Parliament in the UK. It is an international Treaty, lodged with the UN, between the UK and Irish Governments, and which was passed in Ireland only after a popular referendum which amended the Irish Constitution to remove a claim to the territorial integrity of Ireland (to include N. Ireland) unless and until a majority in N. Ireland chose otherwise. It is not within the gift of the DUP (or the UK government) to play around with its provisions to suit their Brexit agenda.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Oct 2nd, 2018 at 05:27:08 PM EST

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