Boris Johnson and Good Friday Agreement: The Impact on Brexit Negotiations

Boris Johnson, the current Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, has been at the forefront of the Brexit negotiations since he took office in July 2019. The Good Friday Agreement (GFA), a peace agreement signed between the UK and Ireland in 1998, has been a crucial consideration in these negotiations.

The GFA aimed to end the sectarian violence in Northern Ireland and establish a power-sharing government. It also established a soft border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, allowing for the free movement of goods and people. However, with the UK’s decision to leave the European Union (EU), the future of the border between the north and south of Ireland has become a major sticking point in the Brexit negotiations.

One of the key issues that Boris Johnson has faced in the Brexit negotiations is the Northern Ireland Protocol, which was created to avoid a hard border in Ireland. The Protocol aims to keep Northern Ireland aligned with EU regulations to ensure there is no need for a hard border. However, this has been a contentious issue for Johnson and his supporters, as it would mean that Northern Ireland would be treated differently from the rest of the UK.

Johnson made several attempts to remove the Protocol from the withdrawal agreement, but it was eventually agreed upon in December 2020. However, in March 2021, he unilaterally extended the grace period for some of the checks required under the Protocol, causing tension with the EU.

There have also been concerns that the Brexit negotiations could undermine the GFA. Johnson has repeatedly stated that he is committed to upholding the agreement, but some have criticized his actions as potentially damaging to the peace process.

In January 2021, the Northern Ireland Assembly voted in favor of the UK’s Brexit deal, including the Northern Ireland Protocol. However, tensions have continued to simmer, and there have been sporadic outbreaks of violence in Northern Ireland.

In conclusion, the Good Friday Agreement remains a crucial consideration in the Brexit negotiations, particularly in relation to the Northern Ireland Protocol. Boris Johnson and his government have faced numerous challenges in trying to find a solution that satisfies both the UK and the EU, and there is still much work to be done to ensure that the agreement is upheld and the peace process in Northern Ireland is not jeopardized.