Queen's Policy Engagement

The 11th hour Brexit deal – initial reaction

As Theresa May secures sufficient progress to move to phase two of the Brexit negotiations, Professor Colin Harvey gives his initial reaction to the Brexit deal announced overnight.

The 11th hour Brexit deal – initial reaction

There is a clear commitment to the protection of the Good Friday Agreement in all its parts and full recognition of the unique circumstances on the island of Ireland.

This includes no diminution in guarantees relating to, for example, rights and equality. ‎The Good Friday Agreement is at the heart of the negotiations and its principles, values and institutions therefore demand our full attention.

Due to the unique nature of the issues this work will move forward in a separate strand of the negotiations. The challenging task now will be working through the detailed application of these agreed principles in the months ahead. But one thing is plain in this document: there is, in principle at least, an acknowledgement of the unique challenges facing Northern Ireland and Ireland.

To read the joint report from the negotiators of the European Union and the UK government click here.


The featured image has been used courtesy of a Creative Commons license. 


Professor Colin Harvey
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Dr Colin Harvey is Professor of Human Rights Law in the School of Law at Queen’s University Belfast. He has served in several leadership and management roles at Queen’s including: Head of the Law School; Director of the Human Rights Centre; Director of Research (Human Rights); and as a member of Senate.

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