Lady Hermon calls for publication of legal advice on Brexit and Good Friday Agreement
Independent unionist MP Lady Sylvia Hermon has called on the UK government to publish advice from the Crown Solicitor’s Office in Belfast on the impact of a no-deal Brexit on the Good Friday Agreement.
Lady Hermon, MP for North Down, told the House of Commons yesterday that Prime Minister Boris Johnson “owes the people of Northern Ireland some explanation” for treating the 1998 agreement “in such a careless and cavalier manner”.
She continued: “It is reported that the Crown Solicitor’s Office in Belfast has advised the Government that a no-deal Brexit would be in contravention of the Good Friday agreement, so I call upon the Prime Minister to publish today, in full … any legal advice he has received from the Crown Solicitor’s Office about how a no-deal Brexit would contravene the agreement.”
However, Mr Johnson told Lady Hermon that he had “not seen any such advice”.
He added: “It is the backstop and the withdrawal agreement itself that undermine the balance of the Good Friday Agreement because, in important matters, they give a greater preponderance to the voice of Dublin in the affairs of Northern Ireland than they do to the UK — the UK having left the EU.
“That is a simple fact, and I do not think it is widely enough understood. That is one of the reasons the withdrawal agreement itself is in conflict with the Good Friday Agreement.”