'Former prime minister Tony Blair and former Irish taoiseach Bertie Ahern have called for a second Brexit referendum, in a joint editorial emphasising the importance of the Good Friday Agreement.
Writing in The Irish Times, the co-signatories of the 1998 accord which brought peace and power-sharing to Northern Ireland, warn that Brexit is “the most serious threat to the Belfast Agreement since it was created and to the union in our lifetime".
Mr Blair and Mr Ahern stress that alongside the principle of consent on Northern Ireland’s constitutional status, the agreement acknowledged a “nationalist aspiration to have an open border between North and South”, which Brexit now threatens.
“It is precisely because of such issues as the Border that there should be a confirmatory vote on whatever now emerges from the Brexit process in parliament," they write.
“The Irish Border question is a metaphor for the entire negotiation. It is not possible for the UK to have frictionless trade with the EU if it remains outside the single market, so the question is how much friction is compatible with the Belfast Agreement.”
The two statesmen also issued a warning on what they see as strained relations between their two countries, noting that there is “no variation of Brexit that can strengthen the relationship between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland".'
Read more: Tony Blair and Bertie Ahern call for second Brexit referendum to protect Good Friday Agreement
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