Smith – Barry Gardiner “reckless and plain wrong”

The Guardian has reported that Shadow International Trade Secretary Barry Gardiner has described the Good Friday Agreement as a “shibboleth” and said that the Irish government were making an issue of the Irish border for reasons of economic advantage.

Commenting, Owen Smith MP, leading supporter of Open Britain, said:

These remarks by Barry Gardiner are both reckless and plain wrong. I worked in Northern Ireland with Barry and it is remarkable that he can display so little understanding of the vital and continuing importance of the Good Friday Agreement, or of the essential need to avoid any hardening of the border in Ireland. 

Labour members will be particularly shocked, but it should concern people in every party and none that there now seems to be a substantial group of senior politicians – from Daniel Hannan to Barry Gardiner – who are prepared to sacrifice the Good Friday Agreement in order to deliver Brexit. 

Instead of supporting those in Northern Ireland committed to making the Agreement work, these ideological Brexiters put leaving the EU ahead of everything else.

They must be resisted by all those who value the achievements of the Agreement, and above all the peace it has brought. If the choice is between Brexit and the Good Friday Agreement, we must support the Agreement every time.”

/ends

 

Notes to editors

The Guardian’s report is here: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/09/barry-gardiner-good-friday-deal-played-up-for-economic-reasons-labour-brexit-hard-border-paramilitary