The Northern Catholic Bishops have sent the letter below regarding the current negotiations on Brexit to An Taoiseach Micheál Martin; Prime Minister Boris Johnson; Head of the EU Task Force for Relations with the United Kingdom, Michel Barnier, and various key US officials (including Nancy Pelosi and NI Special Envoy, Mick Mulvaney). Bishops stressed that any deal agreed on Brexit ‘must uphold and maintain the detailed provisions and principles of the Good Friday/Belfast Agreement, in all its parts.’ The letter also urged the international community to use its leverage in trade and other negotiations surrounding Brexit to ensure that the Good Friday/Belfast Agreement is respected and to avoid any return to a hard border on the island of Ireland.
Content of letter by Northern Bishops and NICCOSA
We, the Northern Bishops and the Northern Ireland Catholic Council on Social Affairs (NICCOSA) write to you at this critical juncture to contribute to the current negotiations surrounding the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union. We do so acknowledging the important joint statement from Christian church leaders on this island regarding Brexit and welcoming the recent engagement between UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. We are heartened at the positive tone arising from this discussion in which both parties acknowledged the importance of agreeing on a deal on Brexit for the good of the UK and Europe, and as the basis for a strong strategic EU-UK relationship in the future.