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Dick Roche is the former Irish Minister for EU Affairs. During his period in office, he led the Irish government’s campaigns in the Irish referenda on the Nice and Lisbon Treaties. Roche also led the Irish representation on the Convention on the Future of Europe.
The rather clumsily titled Northern Ireland and Ireland position paper has, like the proverbial ‘curate’s egg’ – some good bits and some bad bits.
On the positive side the strong commitment to the Good Friday [Belfast] Agreement is welcome.
The paper affirms the ongoing support of the UK, Ireland and the EU for the peace process, commits to formally recognising the citizen’s rights set out in the Agreement into the future and, agrees to a continuation of the peace funding in Northern Ireland and the border counties of the Republic.
On the peace funding, however, the paper stipulates that the funding commitment “should not be taken to imply any wider policy positions on the financial settlement as whole: a reference to the “Brexit” divorce bill which might have been better left unsaid.