Labour Irish Society say party colleagues backing Brexit deal putting peace process at risk

Posted On: 
9th October 2019

Labour MPs who have vowed to back Boris Johnson's Brexit plans have been accused by their colleagues of putting the Northern Ireland peace process at risk.

Labour MPs are split on whether ti support a new Brexit deal.
PA Images

The Labour Party Irish Society took aim at politicians "who seem willing to passively accept creating the conditions which make a return to the dark days of the past more likely".

Their attack came in an open letter to the 19 Labour MPs who wrote to European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker calling on the EU to reach a Brexit deal with the Government.

Labour MPs call on EU to compromise as they pledge to vote for new Brexit deal

Leo Varadkar says it will be 'very difficult' to strike Brexit deal ahead of last-ditch PM talks

Blow for Boris Johnson as Michel Barnier says EU ‘cannot accept’ UK Brexit proposals

In their letter, the LPIS - which is backed by nearly 100 Labour MPs - said Mr Johnson's proposals put the Good Friday Agreement in danger.

They said: "Northern Ireland is 20 years out of a 30-year conflict which killed over 3000 people. Its peace and prosperity is fragile, and every Member of Parliament has a duty to act responsibly.

"In your letter to Mr Juncker, as a group of 19 MPs you state a collective belief that no party or MP wishes to compromise the peace process in Northern Ireland.

"However, Northern Ireland knows better than anywhere else that the actions of politicians supersede the politics of good intentions. Your words offer neither confidence nor consolation.

"There are many MPs who seem willing to passively accept creating the conditions which make a return to the dark days of the past more likely. They stand by and shrug their shoulders, accepting it as the opportunity cost in realising an ideological agenda.

"Whilst times are difficult, we must all remember that peace can never be the price to pay."

In their letter to Mr Juncker, the 19 MPs - who include the likes of Gloria de Piero, Caroline Flint, Gareth Snell, Ruth Smeeth and Stephen Kinnock - said Brexit must be delivered to help restore voters' faith in democracy.

They wrote: "If a new deal can be brought back to the Commons in the coming weeks that avoids a no deal Brexit and ensures greater certainty during the UK's departure, we believe it serves Britain's national interest to approve it.

"Our votes will be decisive in determining the approval of that deal."

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said that none of his MPs should support Mr Johnson's proposals, which he said "would be used as springboard to attack rights and standards in this country".