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Ireland, parliamentary question by Deputy Charles Flanagan on the Good Friday Agreement

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Dáil Éireann, 32nd Dáil 947 1
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The Debate concerned the Good Friday Agreement and how the human rights provisions included in it would be enforced in Ireland and Northern Ireland post-BREXIT. Questions were raised about how an equivalence of human rights in Ireland and Northern Ireland could be ensured and the Charter was raised in this context. It did not have a definite impact on the debate but the proposition of the UK government concerning the Charter post-BREXIT was explained. Deputy Charles Flanagan stated: ‘I assure the House and the Deputy that the Government is a firm supporter of the Charter of Fundamental Rights, but the Good Friday Agreement predates that charter and does not expressly provide for it. That said, the charter provides an important and effective common reference on rights across the island of Ireland, as it does across the EU as a whole. I wish to refer again to the White Paper on legislating for the withdrawal of the UK from the EU. The British Government expressly indicated that the provisions of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights in Northern Ireland will not be applied as part of British law after the UK leaves the EU. This may require that a consideration may be given to alternative means of ensuring the coherence of rights frameworks across the island of Ireland.’