Tony Blair Slams ‘Frankly Sickening’ Calls To Scrap Good Friday Agreement

Tony Blair was a key figure in brokering the Good Friday Agreement [Image: Reuters/Toby Melville].

What’s worse – Brexit-backing MPs’ willingness to sacrifice 20 years of peace in Northern Ireland for a destructive departure from the EU, or the fact that they have given Tony Blair a public platform again?

What’s worse is – for a change – Mr Blair is absolutely right.

Or is he?

We’ve had the opinions of Messrs Hannan and Paterson, Ms Hoey and the rest of the Brexit brigade; we’ve had the opinions of people like Mr Blair. We haven’t had the opinions of the public. Let’s remedy that:

Tony Blair has slammed Brexit-backing MPs for “frankly sickening” calls to scrap the Good Friday Agreement.

The former Prime Minister, who brokered the 1998 Belfast accord, accused Leave backers of being “prepared to sacrifice” peace in Northern Ireland on the “altar of Brexit”.

Prominent Tories Owen Paterson and Daniel Hannan attracted a slew of  criticism for claiming the GFA had “failed”, with remainers accusing them of trying to pave the way for a clean exit from the Customs Union.

Fellow hardline Brexiter and Labour MP Kate Hoey told HuffPost UK, meanwhile, that it was time for a “cold, rational look” at the peace deal.

Blair said: “There are politicians prepared to sacrifice the Good Friday Agreement on the altar of Brexit and declare that the peace agreed in Northern Ireland is not, really, worth having anyway.

“This is irresponsibility that is frankly sickening.”

Source: Tony Blair Slams ‘Frankly Sickening’ Calls To Scrap Good Friday Agreement


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22 thoughts on “Tony Blair Slams ‘Frankly Sickening’ Calls To Scrap Good Friday Agreement

  1. Carol Fraser

    Has it ever occurred to you that the man accused of an ‘illegal war’, (by the way it wasn’t) was acting on UN approval, except Russia (now happily bombing hell out of Syria) and parliament, is the same man who was influential in the setting up of the GFA? Never lose sight of the fact that both Cherie Blair and Tony Blair were victims of the Daily Mail. It was that trash rag which stirred up the war scenario making it personal for Blair. Whether the war should have been fought or not is another issue today with hindsight, but also remember it was the American NSA behind the WMD claims. They even made a film about that little gem.

  2. Zippi

    Verily, the Good Friday Agreement shouldn’t be scrapped but I don’t understand why it wasn’t a consideration, when Parliament was debating the Referendum Bill! Given the situation in which we now all find ourselves, I think it incumbent upon the E.U. to come up with ideas for a solution, not just the U.K. The issue is bigger than just the U.K. and Ireland and given that our separation, in political terms, from the E.U. has highlighted this, I think that if only all parties could come together – for it is in the interest of all parties (U.K. and E.U.) – a sensible and workable solution could be found that would not risk peace but that would be asking too much, it seems.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      The argument against the EU getting involved is that the UK voted in 2016 for the EU not to interfere in our affairs.

      1. Zippi

        This however is a common border that will be shared by the U.K. and the E.U. The E.U. is making demands in this regard, in negotiation, therefore, it has a vested interest and should, given that it is making those demands, offer a solution. I don’t see this as interfering in our affairs any more than it is by making its demands in relation the the border. Do you not see a contradiction? If we offer a solution that the E.U. doesn’t like, how is that not interfering, when the E.U. could offer a solution? We don’t have to take it but that, in my opinion, would be more helpful than merely making demands and rejecting anything that we put forward. I hope that that makes sense.

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        The EU isn’t making any demands; it is simply saying that if Brexit happens without the situation being addressed, the UK will be in an extremely difficult position. It is for the UK to propose a way around that situation because it is the UK that is creating it.

  3. loonytoonz

    Nothing is worth paying for in blood.
    I don’t want my children growing up under that shadow, like we did.
    While it’s not perfect and it is fragile at times, it has held for 20 yrs,stopping precious lives from being lost and destroyed in the Province the Republic and on the mainland. It is a continuous work in progress, needing tlc from all sides,its not there to be thrown away as not working because it won’t fit with a gaggle of shortsighted, overindulged, loudmouths who forgot all about the GFA and how it would affect their fun and games !!!
    Oh pretty much like the whole dratted mess. Please someone give the children in the creche that is supposed to be Parliament a copy of the board game RISK to play with,rather than the country!!!!!!

  4. Growing Flame

    If Brexit goes ahead with no trade agreement with the rest of the EU, there will be a return to a “hard border” across Ireland. This will need wire fences, watch towers, CCTV at all minor roads or bridleways, and , above all, Customs Officers protected by armed Police and troops at the major crossing points. Would any “hard Brexit” MPs be willing to volunteer to stand outside the sandbags at a Customs Post when a heavily-laden van slowly approaches at dead of night?

    I didn’t think so!

  5. Barry

    That would be the same Tony Blair who promised us a vote on the constitution then agreed to it under the name Lisbon treaty and cleared off to leave Brown to sign it, the man is a centre right europhilevand would do anything to keep us in especially lie.

  6. 4foxandhare

    Thanks so much for giving me a chance to share my opinion, Mike.
    Delighted to see that 96.39% – (400 votes) agree with me at time of writing.

  7. bbbarabas

    I’m not a Tory Blair fan, but it’s been my opinion from the start of the BREXIT DEBACLE!
    They are the “ELEPHANT”, in the room!
    No backsliding on Northern Ireland, they are part of the United Kingdom!
    No special deals, it’s all in, or all out!

  8. Thomas

    I dislike Blair for various reasons but he has a point. Is Brexit worth more killings in Northern Ireland?

  9. NMac

    It is an indication of the selfish, self-centred nature of the Brexiters. They care nothing for the hurt and damage they cause to others, and only for their own narrow-minded and bigoted interests.

    1. Zippi

      That language is unhelpful. Many people voted to leave for many reasons. Aye, some may be bigoted but so are some of those who voted to remain. What you have said is unfair and untrue. I thought that we had passed the stage of mudslinging, insults and labelling of people? I believe that we all voted for selfish reasons.

  10. aunty1960

    Two different issues and should not be related. Peace in Ireland and Northern Ireland is a must and a fair trade and fair commercial partnership with EU and rest of world is a MUST. to hang one over the head because of another is unacceptable.

    But I am sure it will suit some people

    Hardline conservatives and DUP are determined to keep Northern Ireland in the Union and will sacrifice all peace and stability to do this.

    On eve of Northern Ireland Peace Accord lets not forget that Lord Cecil/Lord Cranborne (Never Trust a Cecil) made a secret arrangement for Cameron and Tory top ministers to meet up privately with Unionist to try and undermine and scrupper the Peace Talks. WHAT A THING TO DO!!

    One of the things Blair did achieve was Peace In Northern Ireland and they have now ahd two decades of peace, who on earth would want to go back to violent terrorist days and enforced government from westminster and armed forces.

    But I would not marry the two together. the two things are separate, and for EU to mess around with the border and make a hard border I would remind them not to mess around with the Iriish They are a determined bunch on bot sides and wont be divided.

    Don,t let EU use the Norther Ireland as a threat and heavy leverage, that is blackmail.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      They aren’t two different issues. The Good Friday Agreement relies on an open border between Northern Ireland and the Republic. That will not be possible after Brexit.

      There is not currently any question of Northern Ireland leaving the United Kingdom.

      It would be very odd for anyone to arrange for David Cameron to meeting with unionists to undermine the peace talks in 1998, when Mr Cameron wasn’t Tory leader.

      Bear in mind the EU isn’t messing around with the border – the problems arise from the UK electorate’s decision by a narrow majority to leave the European Union.

      You should be saying, “Don’t let the TORIES use Northern Ireland as a threat.” You’re right that it’s blackmail, but place the blame where it belongs.

  11. Growing Flame

    As Mike Sivier says, the worries about the border across Ireland have now arisen because 37% of the UK adult population voted to leave the EU. EU politicians, including Irish ones, didn’t ask for this. The UK voters(through, I suspect, indifference or neglect) have created this mess and UK Tory politicians are pushing ahead with the most damaging version of Brexit for their own purposes. The EU isn’t creating the problem.

  12. 4foxandhare

    Believe me, Mike. I’m saying with all my heart:
    “Don’t let the TORIES use Northern Ireland as a threat.” Wherever it is able to make a difference.
    What a mess. I voted to remain because the British Isles are a part of the continent of Europe and much of our heritage lies there. I lost a beloved uncle in WW2 – yes, I’m that old – and I believe that our best chance of peace is within the EU.

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