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UK News

Christian charity says it will be 'hugely challenging' for the UK government to override parts of Brexit deal on Northern Ireland

by Alex Collett

According to a senior government source, the UK government is poised to introduce legislation that would allow ministers in London to override parts of the Brexit deal on Northern Ireland.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is due to visit Belfast on Monday to encourage the restoration of Northern Ireland's government.

The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) is refusing to enter the assembly because of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Andy Flanagan from Christians in Politics told Premier: "It's going to be very hard for the Prime Minister to convince the Democratic Unionist Party of what he wants to convince them of. 

"Because this is the legacy of when certainly politicians make promises and then break them, it's very, very hard to convince people when you make another promise, I think we all know that in our relationships!" 

"I think it's going be a very challenging job, we sit in a situation whereby the Good Friday Agreement provided this opportunity for Northern Ireland to grow and come together.

"Because it sat within the context of the European Union, allowing that border to be open to the south of Ireland, enabling those who want to be more closely connected to the south of Ireland, while the nation politically still start within Northern Ireland, within the United Kingdom, for those who wanted to be a part of the United Kingdom. So, it was actually a brilliant piece of work. 

"But it was only made possible by the fact that you had sat within the European Union context, but Brexit has changed all that."

Boris Johnson insists he does not favour scrapping a trade agreement, which dictates checks on some goods crossing the Irish Sea.

Flanagan continued: "There's no getting away from the fact that it's impossible to be outside a customs union. Also to have no checks on goods coming through. That's just a fact of life. 

"There is a border in the Irish Sea arriving, and that makes those who want to feel exactly part of the United Kingdom, and no different to the rest of the United Kingdom, very challenged. 

"But even the thought of a border remerging between Northern Ireland and the south of Ireland, would then trouble a lot of other folks and could cause a lot of trouble. 

"So it's a huge challenging problem."

Flanagan feels there is a lack of knowledge about what is really going on, on the island from recent talks.

He wants to encourage people to pray for humility for all governments involved.

"We've also got to pray for those what you might call 'hotheads' in Northern Ireland, who would wish to exploit this on either side, and stoke tensions on either side and encourage people into, you know, physical protest and even perhaps violence on either side. [Pray] that those 'hotheads' would be calmed and cooled."

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