Ireland will block any Brexit deal that does not “fully” protect the Good Friday Agreement, according to the country’s new foreign minister.
Simon Coveney, in Stormont for talks to reinstate powersharing in Northern Ireland, warned that the Irish government would insist on finding a solution that protects its terms in full.
Ireland, as one of 27 remaining EU member states, has the right to block a Brexit deal in its national parliament.
“We have a Good Friday Agreement, which is also an international legal document that needs to be respected in the context of Brexit negotiations,” Mr Coveney told RTE, Ireland’s state broadcaster.
“That makes it very complicated, but it’s something that we have to, and I will, insist on being the case.
‘Protect the peace process fully’
“Ireland will not sign off on a Brexit deal unless we protect the Good Friday Agreement fully, unless we protect the peace process fully, and unless we protect the normalisation that has been created over a number of decades on the island of Ireland in terms of the relationship between north and south. Theresa May has said that her government is committed to the Good Friday Agreement, which established the post-Troubles institutions of Northern Ireland.
But there are difficulties which must be overcome to allow the deal to remain valid when Britain leaves the European Union.