The Parliamentary Assembly of the 46-nation Council of Europe (PACE) has urged Britain to ensure that Brexit does not result in any diminution of rights for the people of the North, warning that the withdrawal from the EU has “reignited deep-seated tensions”, furthered political divisions, and paralysed devolved institutions.
Approving a resolution based on a report by George Katrougalos (Greece, Unified European Left Group), the assembly said that Brexit had “shaken the delicate balance created by the peace process and threatened the common human-rights space previously shared by all people on the island of Ireland”.
There are also “serious concerns” regarding the compatibility of the Troubles Legacy and Reconciliation Bill with the European Convention on Human Rights, the parliamentarians pointed out.
While the Protocol has had an overall positive economic effect on the North, the assembly noted that “the related rhetoric has been divisive” and used as a pretext to hold public institutions hostage.
The parliamentarians urged Britain to “reaffirm its commitment to the European Convention on Human Rights” and, as regards the Protocol, to “refrain from unilateral actions which undermine international law”.
They also called on authorities and political forces in the North to “return to power-sharing immediately”, making implementation of the Good Friday Agreement “an utmost priority”.