The Centre for Cross Border Studies has published a response to the UK Government’s position paper ‘Northern Ireland and Ireland.’ CCBS welcomes the fact that the paper recognises the unique circumstances of the island of Ireland and appreciates the references to upholding the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement, avoiding a ‘hard border’, maintaining the Common Travel Area, and continued North-South and East-West cooperation. However it is a concern that the paper states that the realisation of many of these ‘high level objectives’ are dependent on the UK Government achieving a ‘bold and ambitious Free Trade Agreement.’ Support for the Good Friday Agreement should not be placed in doubt almost twenty years later.
The Centre does welcome the UK Government’s proposal that PEACE funding should continue and encourages that this be agreed early in the negotiations between the UK and the EU. On the issue of the Common Travel Area, while the Centre agrees with the position paper’s objective of maintaining this, we feel that this should also be linked to the rights of EU citizens in the UK and the rights of UK nations in the EU.
While the Centre for Cross Border Studies does welcome the UK Government’s high level objectives, the paper fails to address many other issues related to Northern Ireland/Ireland.
Please click on the link below to view the full response.