September 19, 2020
Hazzard writes to Westminster parties on need to protect Good Friday Agreement

Sinn Féin MP Chris Hazzard has written to the leaders of the main political parties at Westminster to outline the huge damage the British government’s Internal Market Bill would do to the Good Friday Agreement.

The Sinn Féin Brexit spokesperson said:

“The British government have been blatant in their intention to break international law by attempting to tear up the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement and Irish Protocol through the Internal Market Bill.

“Not only would passage of this bill break international law, it would also drive a coach and horses through another internationally binding agreement, the Good Friday Agreement.

“The bill would give the British government the power to unilaterally impose its rules and regulations on the Assembly, regardless of the views of the democratically elected MLAs and ministers in the Executive. This is a clear deviation from the Good Friday Agreement and the political institutions it created.

“It includes clauses that would give the British government powers to compel the Executive and Assembly to accept lower environmental, food safety and animal welfare standards, jeopardising our local agri-food industry and leaving the Executive powerless to act.

“It would also create an unelected quango with the ability to challenge the democratically elected devolved Assemblies.

“Crucially, it would undermine the all-Ireland aspects of the Good Friday Agreement as it completely sidelines north-south cooperation. This was a key element of the Good Friday Agreement for nationalists and republicans and cannot be set aside at will by the British government.

“I have now written to the leaders of the main political parties at Westminster flagging up the main breaches of the Good Friday Agreement arising out of the Internal Market Bill. It is important they understand the ramifications of this proposed legislation for the north of Ireland, relations on the island of Ireland and relations across these islands.

“The British government and British parliament cannot simply be allowed to undermine and hollow out the Good Friday Agreement and the decades of progress which has resulted from it.”

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