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Do these people understand the GFA/BA? September 27, 2022

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Thought the following comments by Peter Kyle, shadow NI Secretary for the BLP were fairly innocuous. But no. Apparently not.

Northern Ireland unionists have expressed alarm after the shadow Northern Ireland secretary, Peter Kyle, said he would be prepared to call a referendum on Irish unity if certain conditions were met.

Kyle would set out the criteria for calling a border poll if Labour were in power, he told the BBC’s Sunday Politics show at his party’s conference.


“If the circumstances emerge as set out in the Good Friday agreement, I as secretary of state, would not play games. I would call the border poll,” he said. “I am saying I am not going to be a barrier if the circumstances emerge.”

As the Guardian notes:

Under the 1998 agreement, a secretary of state must call a referendum if it appears likely a majority of those voting would want the region to leave the UK – but the agreement does not specify the criteria, a vagueness that the UK government and unionists have been keen to maintain.

Beattie’s contribution is curious. There is currently and has been since Brexit considerable interest in this topic. Was the shadow Secretary not to speak on this? Is that somehow forbidden? Would his stature or credibility be enhanced by refusing to do so? That makes not a whit of sense. 

As to the News Letter. Well, it is entirely reasonable given the GFA/BA for unification of the island as a political entity to be pursued as determinedly within constitutional politics, as is the case for those who seek to maintain the union. So it’s dispiriting to see a media outlet pretend that it is otherwise or that those trying to clarify aspects of the GFA/BA dispensation are somehow unreasonable in attempting to do so. 

Indeed a bit of clarity around all these issues would be of considerable benefit.



1. benmadigan - September 27, 2022

as long as criteria are not clarified, the UK govt can keep Unionists/Loyalists happy by saying “we’re not there yet”

No matter how many people in NI support reunification or a return to the EU, polls will always report support as around 30-35%

FF/FG Irish govts will always agree

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - September 27, 2022

Agree completely. It’s a huge void at the heart of the Agreement. Interesting to see the kerfuffle over the Shadow NI minister stating the obvious.


2. Do these people understand the GFA/BA? – seachranaidhe1 - October 1, 2022

[…] Do these people understand the GFA/BA? […]


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