North-South Joint Committee to discuss Human Rights under the Good Friday Agreement & Brexit
Press release23 January 2018
Tánaiste meets with North-South Joint Committee to discuss Human Rights under the Good Friday Agreement and Brexit
Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Simon Coveney, TD, met today with the Joint Committee of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission and the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission.
The Joint Committee met in Dublin to address the human rights and equality impacts of the UK exit from the European Union.
Speaking with the Joint Committee, the Tánaiste said:
“I welcome this extremely important engagement by the Joint Committee as a crucial institution of the Good Friday Agreement.”
“The Joint Committee is uniquely placed under the Agreement to address the issues that Brexit raises for human rights on this island. Your engagement can be non-partisan, drawing on each Commission’s role and experience, and reflecting the Committee’s mandate to consider all-island issues.”
The Tánaiste also said:
“The human rights and equality provisions of the Good Friday Agreement are central to the Peace Process. They support the confidence and willingness of all communities to participate in and operate the agreed political institutions and protect everyone equally.”
“As co-guarantor of the Good Friday Agreement, the Government is concerned at all times to see that the rights and equality provisions of the Agreement can operate effectively and to their full potential, in support of the Peace Process overall.“
Referring to the EU-UK Article 50 negotiations, the Tánaiste said:
“In terms of fundamental rights and equality, the EU and the UK have acknowledged the contribution of EU law and practice as a supporting framework for the rights and equality provisions of the Good Friday Agreement, both in Northern Ireland and across the island of Ireland.
“The UK has committed to ensuring that no diminution of rights is caused by its departure, including in the area of protection against forms of discrimination in Union law. This is a significant and substantive commitment.”
“The UK has also committed to facilitating the work of the institutions and bodies of the Good Friday Agreement in upholding human rights and equality standards.”