The Good Friday Agreement 25 years on: Brexit has brought back the border
EFA believes that the changed circumstances since Brexit make it more important than ever that the people have their say on the future of Northern Ireland
This Easter marks the 25th Anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement. The Agreement was a milestone in the promotion of peace on the island of Ireland and has since become the gold standard of peace agreements for conflict situations through dialogue, negotiation and respect for the democratic wishes of the communities involved.
25 years on from the historical agreement, the situation has changed enormously. One partner has left the EU, reopening the border question and raising all kinds of complications regarding the free passage of goods. The ‘invisible’ border that the Good Friday Agreement guaranteed has returned to view. Stormont’s tumultuous politics reflects that Northern Ireland is caught in a contradictory situation where none of the communities are fully satisfied. The “Windsor Framework” recently agreed between the UK and the EU is also just a temporary solution that does not overcome the real issues at stake.
The GFA allows for a border poll to identify the people’s wishes for the future of the north of Ireland. The changed circumstances since Brexit make it more important than ever that the people have their say.
The GFA was an enormous step forward in promoting peace and cooperation on the island of Ireland. That considerable achievement should not be put in jeopardy by the contradictions highlighted by Brexit. We must celebrate the peace and reconciliation that the GFA made possible. But the question of the border is still far from resolved. EFA believes that the only lasting solution for the Irish border question is to move it to the Irish Sea – permanently. The people must have their say.