British government rejects claims by Gerry Adams that Brexit will 'destroy' Good Friday Agreement

A spokesperson for the British government said the Sinn Féin leader's remarks "are totally without any basis in fact"

British government rejects claims by Gerry Adams that Brexit will 'destroy' Good Friday Agreement

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams talking to the media at Leinster House in Dublin | Image: RollingNews.ie

The British government has rejected claims by Gerry Adams that Brexit will "destroy" the Good Friday Agreement.

Yesterday, the Sinn Féin leader claimed in a speech that Northern Ireland leaving the EU could jeopardise the peace process.

Speaking at a conference in Dublin, Mr Adams argued: "The citizens of England and Wales voted to leave the EU. The people of Scotland and of the North voted to remain. As the dire economic implications of Brexit take shape there is an opportunity to promote a new agreed Ireland.

"Sinn Féin’s proposition that the North be accorded a designated special status within the EU will not affect the constitutional question. Taking the North out of the EU will. It will destroy the Good Friday Agreement."

A spokesperson for the UK government claimed Mr Adams' comments "are totally without any basis in fact". 

In a statement, the spokesperson said: "None of the institutions and provisions set out in the Belfast Agreement, including those relating to human rights, are in any way undermined by the decision of the UK to leave the EU. The UK Government is fully behind the implementation of the Belfast Agreement and its successors, including Stormont House and Fresh Start.

"There will be no return to the borders of the past. We are also working intensively to ensure that following the forthcoming election strong and stable devolved government that works for everyone is re-established in Northern Ireland," the statement adds.

Earlier this week, Theresa May laid out her priorities for Brexit, including a pledge to maintain the common travel area between the UK and Ireland.