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Westminster Repeal Bill Powers Must Not Undermine Good Friday Agreement – David Cullinane TD

12 September, 2017 - by David Cullinane TD

Last night Westminster voted on the second stage of the Repeal Bill that will give government ministers executive authority to overturn and amend all legislation.

 This has been referred to as a power-grab under the guise of Brexit.Sinn Féin spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Trade with Special Responsibility for Brexit David Cullinane TD said today that the powers to amend legislation as outlined in the Repeal Bill must not be used to change legislation that underpins the Good Friday Agreement, adding that additional legal mechanisms are needed to protect the institutions.

Deputy Cullinane said:

"At the moment, Bills that go before the Northern Assembly must comply with EU law and regulations.

"The Repeal Bill would allow a British Minister to replace any mention of referral to EU law with a referral to British law.

"Disputes that are currently referred to EU regulators or courts could be amended to refer to their British equivalents only.

"This would undermine the Belfast Agreement and the special and unique circumstances of the North within the EU.

"Last week, the EU said that it could see elements of the Good Friday Agreement being incorporated into the final withdrawal agreement in terms of North-South institutions and citizens rights.

"The Repeal Bill shows the need to have elements of the 1998 NI Act also incorporated into the final agreement, in order to give  legal effect in international law to the unique legislative status that will apply to the North post-Brexit.

"There can be no divergence from the current rights of Irish citizens in the North, and that means in terms of the laws that apply, and will continue to apply, to the people of the North.

“The Repeal Bill gives Tory ministers power to rewrite elements of the Good Friday Agreement.

“That should not be allowed.

“This underscores the need for legislative protections and special status for the north within the EU.”

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