Britain rejects Gerry Adams comments on Brexit

Sinn Féin leader claimed Belfast Agreement will be destroyed by taking North out of EU

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams speaks at a  conference on Irish unity in Dublin. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams speaks at a conference on Irish unity in Dublin. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

 

The British government has rejected a suggestion by Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams that taking Northern Ireland out of the EU will destroy the Belfast Agreement.

At a conference in Dublin on Saturday on the theme of united Ireland, Mr Adams said Brexit would have a negative impact on the North.

“The British government’s intention to take the North out of the EU, despite the wish of the people there to remain, is a hostile action. Not just because of the implications of a hard Border on this island but also because of its negative impact on the Good Friday agreement,” he said.

“The British prime minister repeated her intention to bring an end to the jurisdiction of the European court. Along with her commitment to remove Britain from the European convention on human rights, this stand threatens to undermine the fundamental human rights elements of the Good Friday agreement.”

A statement released late on Saturday night, attributed to a UK government spokesperson said: “These comments are totally without any basis in fact. “None of the institutions and provisions set out in the Belfast Agreement, including those relating to human rights, are in any way undermined by the decision of the UK to leave the EU.”

The statement also highlighted the British government’s commitment to stability in the North.

“The UK Government is fully behind the implementation of the Belfast Agreement and its successors, including Stormont House and Fresh Start. “There will be no return to the borders of the past. “We are also working intensively to ensure that following the forthcoming election strong and stable devolved government that works for everyone is re-established in Northern Ireland. ”