Good Friday Agreement Regulatory Alignment Text
The agreement reaffirmed its commitment to “mutual respect, civil rights and religious freedoms for all within the Community.” The multi-party agreement recognized “the importance of respect, understanding and tolerance with regard to linguistic diversity,” particularly with regard to the Irish language, Ulster Scots and the languages of other ethnic minorities in Northern Ireland, “all of which are part of the cultural richness of the Island of Ireland.” The British government is virtually out of the game and neither parliament nor the British people have, as part of this agreement, the legal right to obstruct the achievement of Irish unity if it had the consent of the people of the North and The South… Our nation is and will remain a nation of 32 circles. Antrim and Down are and will remain a part of Ireland, just like any southern county.  In the context of political violence during the riots, the agreement required participants to find “exclusively democratic and peaceful ways to resolve political differences.” There were two aspects: there is no explicit obligation to never tighten the border and there is nothing on customs or regulatory controls. 2 There is a general consensus that the UK`s exit from the European Union will have a negative impact on the Irish and Northern Irish economies, as well as on cross-border trade and relations between Ireland and Northern Ireland, particularly in certain sectors that are heavily dependent on such trade, such as the agri-food sectors. However, if a general agreement has still not been reached between the political parties London, Brussels, Dublin and Northern Ireland on the status of the Irish border after Brexit, it is not only because of these potentially negative socio-economic effects. This is mainly due to the fact that the current soft border system is an integral part of a very complex constitutional and institutional order, created by the 1998 Good Friday Agreement (GFA) and ratified by two simultaneous referendums in Ireland and Northern Ireland. Therefore, it can rightly be argued that the reason the Irish border is so controversial today is because the GFA has not provided a real and consensual solution to the unwelcome question of the very status of the Irish border. Despite 20 years of peace and a 56% majority in Northern Ireland in favour of remaining in the EU, northern Ireland`s Unionist and Nationalist nationals still do not agree on what will happen to this border.
In other words, if Brexit raises several problems and debates on the Irish border issue, it is not so much the consequence of Brexit itself as a symptom of the initial weaknesses of the Good Friday Agreement (GFA). During negotiations on the UK`s planned withdrawal from the European Union in 2019, the EU presented a position paper on its concerns about Britain`s support for the Good Friday agreement during Brexit. The position paper deals with issues such as the prevention of a hard border, north-south cooperation between the Republic of Northern Ireland, the birthright of all Northern Ireland residents (as stated in the agreement) and the common travel area.   Anyone who was born in Northern Ireland and is therefore entitled to an Irish passport under the Good Friday Agreement may retain European citizenship after Brexit.  As part of the EU`s Brexit negotiating guidelines, the UK was asked to convince other EU members that these issues had been addressed in order to enter the second phase of the Brexit negotiations. In order to protect North-South cooperation and avoid controls at the Irish border, the United Kingdom, under the leadership of Prime Minister Theresa May, said it was ready to protect the agreement in all its parties and “in the absence of agreed solutions, the Uk would maintain full alignment with the rules of the internal market and customs union, which are now or in the future. , North-South cooperation supporting the island`s economy and protecting the 1998 agreement” by acknowledging that “it is the restriction that nothing is agreed until everything has been agreed”.     This provision was part of the