Could someone tell me where this is?

It had finally dawned on the British government that it had committed itself to two incompatible things. One was that under no circumstances would there be a return to a hard border between the UK and the Republic of Ireland.

I have actually read the Good Friday Agreement. And I simply cannot find any reference in it at all to the border, let alone a pledge that there won’t be a hard one.

So, and this is a genuine question, not an attempt at a gotcha, can someone tell me where this pledge is?

18 comments on “Could someone tell me where this is?

  1. It was promised during the negotiations in 2017. And nothing was to be agreed until everything was agreed.
    Anyone who says its part of the GFA or any other binding treaty is mistaken or lying. And yes, I heard the Irish deputy prime minister say it was in the GFA.

  2. The Good Friday Agreement is balance between Irish Nationalism and N Ireland independence backed by the UK – if Ireland is cut in two then one side has no longer got what they want. Clearly the Good Friday agreement would not openly discuss this in its , “How do we give the IRA what they want “… section…. so you are looking for something you know will not be there.
    Why ?
    Good summary form the ( nest of remainer vipers) the BBC
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-46988529

  3. According to the BBC, then, Varadkar’s lying. Who would have expected that of a politician?

  4. No it’s not in there. It’s not even alluded to, realistically-speaking.

    You could perhaps make an argument that it is an *implication* of other pledges, most importantly that one that talks about developing closer co-operation. That is a convergence concept that is, not accidentally, a similar idea to ever-closer union of the EU, which is where part of the debate arises. There seems to have been a general assumption that this process would happen under the EU convergence umbrella.

    But that’s rather wishful thinking, extrapolating your preferred policy from an general expressed principle. And of course the argument is typically wildly exaggerated to the point of dishonesty.

    The other thing that bugs me is that the UK is blamed, when the only people erecting a border will be the EU and the Irish. Of course they will do it to ‘defend’ against the UK’s policy choices, but it’s their choice.

    Then you get into issues like all the semi-open borders the EU quite happily has with places with only limited alignment, like Norway and Switzerland, amongst others.

    And the idea that having a border on Ireland is a wicked injustice, but forcing an internal border in the UK (or better yet, retaining total control over trade policy as a result of not having one) is totally just and right. Even though the UK is a sovereign nation and the EU is not.

  5. Oh no, facepainter is being disingenuous!


    Clearly the Good Friday agreement would not openly discuss this in its , “How do we give the IRA what they want “… section…”

    From the link the guy gives, it does talk about dismantling the watchtowers. It’s OK facepainter, there is no need to thank me for reading the document you were unable to understand

  6. Northern Ireland was created as a refuge for Irish people who didn’t want their children sodomised or raped by catholic priests as well as wanting to stay attached to England, Scotland and Wales. Eventually, of course, it was going to be infiltrated by the south, especially as the Benefits were better, and by people who couldn’t see much wrong with the sodomising and rape.

    At least, for a while, both sides didn’t much approve of murdering the not-yet-born.

    All that’s changed, and what’s more, sodomy is now part of the culture, even if rape now doesn’t actually need to happen for someone (male) to be accused of it.

  7. The GFA is about cross-border cooperation. It doesn’t specify the nature of the border. End of.

  8. Oh tish!!!!

    As far back as Gan Gend & Loos, and the CJEU’s interpretation of the Treaty of Rome, the EU courts have worked on the basis of their interpretation of the intent of the authors of a treaty, even when in direct contradiction of the text, or absence of text. And in its Judgment in Klausner Holz Niedersachsen, reiterated that the requirement of effectiveness (effet utile) meant national treaties and laws must be interpreted in terms compatible with EU law.

    Therefore if the EU states that is what what the GFA means, then under EU law that is what it means.

    “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.” “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.” “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.”

  9. When the Remoaners were very specifically called out on it:
    How, specifically, does Brexit breach the Good Friday Agreement? (Please see link for full text, and please reference text in answers.)

    the best they could come up with was
    “…while Brexit does not breach any particular clause of the GFA – it promotes division which is contrary to the spirit of the Agreement.”

    and
    “that it would be wrong to make any change in the status of Northern Ireland save with the consent of a majority of its people”.

  10. I find the inherent racism in this border issue fascinating. A small change in the management of that border and the Irish will start blowing people up again for reasons no one seems to know.

    The people who believe this must have very low opinions of the Irish.

  11. Since UK & Ireland had been a Common Travel Area since prior to the EEC, since nobody envisaged the UK leaving the EU, and the British wanted no targets along the North/South border to provide target practice for the IRA requiring continuous police/army protection – why would the subject ever have come up for discussion, never mind inclusion in the GFA?

  12. Well the Belfast Agreement states “to use best endeavours to reach agreement on the adoption of common policies, in areas where there is a mutual cross-border and all island benefit”. Interested to hear how voluntarily breaking from an existing island-wide agreement (shared EU policy) doesn’t contravene a strict ‘best endeavours’ obligation.

  13. @Tim Worstall

    You are corrrect, no mention of Border etc

    Despite this lie:

    The Good Friday peace agreement, which brought an end to 40 years of conflict, made clear that the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic needed to remain open.
    https://metro.co.uk/2019/10/08/brexit-deal-given-fatal-blow-angela-merkel-rejects-boriss-plan-10881870/

    Belfast Agreement Word search:

    trade – 0, border* – 0, customs – 0, traffic – 0, export – 0, import – 0; tax – 0

    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-belfast-agreement

    * as in A/The Border

    .
    The EU hijacking of BA [GFA] should have been shot down by May as soon as it started. BBC’s “undercover” EU docu shows EU officials admitting and laughing at how they made it up to flagellate UK – but that’s Still ignored.

    The BA [GFA] scaremongering are effectively surrendering to ira. If they kick off again Op Banner II will be better equipped and Int 13 can finish what it was on the verge of doing

    .
    UK vs RoI
    Different currency – we both manage OK
    Different tax rules & rates – we both manage OK
    Different excise rules & duties – we both manage OK
    Different road traffic rules, laws & measurement units – we both manage OK

  14. @Theophrastus October 8, 2019 at 11:21 am

    The GFA is about cross-border cooperation.

    No, it is not. It is about creating an undemocratic Northern Ireland Assembly [Gov]

    Read it

    .
    @TomJ October 8, 2019 at 11:23 am

    Thanks, I missed that

    .
    @Josephine October 8, 2019 at 11:28 am

    Spot on

    .
    @George October 8, 2019 at 5:52 pm

    “cross-border” inherently accepts a border exists, it in no way implies there must be no visible border or border checks. There is a border and cross-border smuggling exists today.

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