Thanks to the efforts of immigration & civil rights campaigner, Emma DeSouza, it has recently come to light that the UK Government has made changes to its immigration law which is in direct conflict with the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.
Despite countless promises from the UK Government that the Good Friday Agreement would not be affected by Brexit, quite the extreme opposite has occured as they’ve tried to fix a loophole that will no doubt trip them up after Brexit has occurred.
The Agreement provides that the people of NorthernThe Good Friday Agreement
Ireland may choose to have Irish citizenship or British
citizenship, or both
So in terms of identity those born in Northern Ireland can decide they are Irish citizens although living in the United Kingdom – this was mostly made possible and less of a headache by the participation of both countries in the EU project.
Due to Brexit however, the UK Government has decided in order to fix the issues that will now occur, that by default every citizen that has been born in Northern Ireland is now British by default, even for those who have never held a UK passport in their life. This solves their problem as the Irish EU rights are no longer applicable or recognisable whilst they are in Northern Ireland. Other countries *will continue to recognise their Irish identity
*If my understanding is correct
This wouldn’t be a problem if the agreement was in specific regards to passports, it’s not, it’s about identity and citizenship.
As such the UK Government is in direct breach of the Good Friday agreement, one of the most important peace agreements of modern times. Worst of all, there was no discussion, they tried to sneak this through and hoped no one would notice. The reaction thus far has been outrage and this only was discovered less than 24 hours ago
This has a particularly stressful effect on those with non EEA spouses, which will be directly effected by the removal of their EU rights.
With the current state of the UK Government, the current betrayal of the Good Friday agreement and the plans for No Deal border control in Northern Ireland utterly unsustainable and in direct breach of WTO rules and the ‘technological solutions’ thus far non existant, you have to wonder how long before they give up on the niceties and try a ‘our way or the highway’ approach which will inevitably lead to violence. I feel with the current range of Brexit extremists who range from deliberately callous towards NI politics to deliberately ignorant, this may come sooner rather than later unfortunately.
If Irish rights within Northern Ireland are removed due to an English nationalism movement, it does not bode well.
Below – James O’Brien destroys PM hopeful and former Brexit Secretary, Dominic Raab – who’s never bothered to read the GFA – View video from 3.07