News ID: 260767
Published: 0531 GMT October 26, 2019

Former NI peace negotiator casts doubt on new Brexit deal

Former NI peace negotiator casts doubt on new Brexit deal

One of the leading negotiators of Northern Ireland’s (NI) peace agreement has attacked Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s attitude toward the province’s future.

Jonathan Powell, who was the government’s chief negotiator for NI from 1997 until 2007, has accused the PM of “playing games” with the Good Friday Agreement, Presstv Reported.

Formalised in April 1998, the Good Friday Agreement brought an end to the thirty year low-level Civil War in the British-controlled six counties of the north.

Powell, who is a former Foreign Office official and was former PM Tony Blair’s Chief of Staff for ten years, told the BBC’s The View on October 24, that Johnson’s new Brexit deal “undermines” the identity of “unionists” in NI.

“It’s so unwise to play games with this [Good Friday Agreement]. This peace process is a seesaw, if you jump on one end, the other end’s going to flying in the air”, Powell added.

Powell’s unusually strong intervention is being seen as an expression of support for the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), which has suspended its parliamentary alliance with the Tory party following the introduction of the new Brexit deal.

The DUP, which starts its annual party conference today, argues that the new Brexit deal weakens Northern Ireland’s union with the rest of the United Kingdom.   



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