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UK government rejects Adams' claims that Brexit will destroy Good Friday Agreement

Adams said that Brexit was a “hostile act against the people of this island”.

Image: Leah Farrell/Rollingnews.ie

GERRY ADAMS HAS described Brexit as a “hostile act against the people of this island” after the British government said that his claims that leaving the EU will destroy the Good Friday Agreement “had no basis in fact”.

Speaking on RTÉ’s This Week this afternoon, the Sinn Féin leader reiterated that the Good Friday Agreement would be destroyed if Theresa May’s government continued on its current trajectory and left the EU.

A spokesperson for the British government said that there would be “no return to the border’s of the past” and that no elements of Brexit will undermine the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.

When it was put to Adams on the RTÉ show that May had indicated that rights of the agreement, and guaranteed under EU law, would be transferred to British law, he replied that her commitment to remove Britain from the European Convention on Human Rights was a major cause of concern.

He said that Theresa May and her government had “set its face against protocols it’s obliged to implement”.

In terms of a hard border following Brexit, he said that a “child could have told you” it would happen in the event of Britain leaving the EU and said that it cannot be allowed to happen.

He added that the onus should be on Taoiseach Enda Kenny to push for a special designation for Northern Ireland within the EU.

Furthermore, Adams accused the Irish government of having “no plan” for how to deal with Brexit.

He also rejected claims that his statements constituted “dangerous rhetoric” and it will not make the upcoming negotiations following the latest Northern assembly elections more difficult.

In response to Adams’ claims in recent days, the UK government’s statement said: “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 added that it would work to ensure that the upcoming Stormont elections ensure ” a strong and stable devolved government” that works for everyone in Northern Ireland.

In the RTÉ interview, in which he discussed his relationship with Martin McGuinness, Adams said he was not yet prepared to disclose a date when he would step down.

In terms of who should succeed him as party leader, he said “everyone in Sinn Féin has to be leadership material”.

Read: Next in line: Mary Lou talks McGuinness, great women and ‘cutting the crap’ in the North

Read: The latest opinion poll has been published, and it’s not good news for the government

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Sean Murray

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