So fed up of the Good Friday Agreement being completely misunderstood and used as a political football by both sides.

Take it from somebody who keeps a copy of the thing in his living room.

It has precisely nothing to say about a hard border. Zip. Nada.

The only mention of border infrastructure is in a passage on removing Troubles-era “security installations”.

It has nothing else to say. So the argument becomes one not about the letter of the agreement, but the “spirit”

So what on earth is the “spirit” of the agreement?
Well. It is primarily about consensus. And also about creating a space in which Irish people in NI are able to feel connected to Ireland, and British people to the UK.

Thus, so the argument goes, erecting barriers on the island North and South would risk that fragile consensus.
But. By that same logic, erecting borders between GB and NI would also breach the agreement. This seems to be the UK’s argument now.

Except that, as many Unionists pointed out at the time, the very signing of the Withdrawal Agreement constituted that breach. And we still signed.
And then on the other side, even the Irish Govt was unable to explain this morning on the radio why the UK’s action now breached the GFA.

Muttering something about consensus. But the WA explicitly did not have the consent of Unionists. And it didn’t seem to matter then.
So really we are not arguing about the GFA at all.

We are arguing about a straightforward matter of international law.

The U.K. made commitments, and it is now rowing back on them. That is the start and the end of the matter.

And the end of this thread.

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Matthew Thompson

Matthew Thompson Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @mattuthompson

13 Jun
Several hundred people are gathered in Parliament Square, here ostensibly to protect monuments and statues from a BLM protest that is no longer happening.

Heavy police presence, but so far peaceful, people mostly just drinking in the sun.

No social distancing.

“If you don’t love this country, leave” says this man, an immigrant himself, to widespread applause (and not very socially distant handshakes)


Things already escalating here on Parliament Square. Bottles and smoke bombs thrown at police. And you can see as a protestor smacks my phone out of my hand as I try to film the scuffles.

Turning on journalists too.

Read 13 tweets
4 Jun
V important thread. Which also suggests that claims the UK recorded more COVID-19 deaths yesterday than the whole of the EU27 are, well... equally nonsense.
Look at the absolute state of the Spanish data in this chart from the @FT. One day, 283 deaths. Quick fiddle of the recording process and oh, look, the next day, 1 death.

Ok. Because this just refuses to die, here is yet another reason why claims the UK had more deaths than EU27 are nonsense.

The date you're all comparing is 3rd June. Here is graph from PHE on when English deaths registered that day *actually took place*. It goes back to MARCH.
Read 5 tweets
24 May
NEW: Boris Johnson says Dominic Cummings “followed the instincts of every father and every parent... and has acted responsibly, legally and with integrity”

Johnson: “I do believe we will be in a position to move to phase 2 of our plan”

Step 2 includes the partial reopening of schools.

PM says Dominic Cummings was following “instincts” but @GaryGibbonBlog points out that everyone else in the country was following rules.

Boris Johnson doesn’t really answer the question on whether we are all now entitled to follow our instincts.
Read 5 tweets
7 May
BREAKING: More bad news for the NHS coronavirus tracing app.

Parliament's Committee on Human Rights says it is "not reassured" the app protects privacy, and that if the app doesn't prove effective, the level of data gathered may actually break the law.

The HR Committee says it is also "highly concerned" that there has been no detailed Parliamentary scrutiny of the plans for the NHS app, and is calling for it to be brought before Parliament at the earliest opportunity.
The Committee is also calling for an independent body to oversee the implementation of the tracing app, and regular reviews every 21 days from the Health Secretary to ensure its efficacy and data safety.
Read 6 tweets
5 May
Sir Patrick Vallance has told MPs that genome sequencing suggests the UK got many of its coronavirus cases from Europe, rather than China.

"There was a big influx of cases probably from Italy and Spain in early March, seeded right across the country."
There's been some concern that the Government keeps saying it is "following the scientific advice" but yet that advice isn't published.

Sir Patrick said he'd like SAGE to get into a "regular rhythm" of publishing its papers, perhaps "every couple of weeks if we can".
Sir Patrick Vallance on the importance of social distancing:

"Spending 1 minute at 2m [from another person] is about same risk as spending 6 seconds at 1m.

The risk at 1m is 10 to 30 times higher than the risk at 2m"
Read 12 tweets
14 Apr
NEW: ONS figures on coronavirus death show large jump.

Deaths due to COVID-19 accounted for 21% of all deaths in the week ending 3rd April, compared to just 4.8% of deaths the week before.
The ONS death total is 15% higher than the numbers reported by the NHS in the same period.

That's because they include deaths outside of hospital, and also suspected COVID-19 deaths.

#coronavirus @LBC
But look. If you compare today's stats to those announced by @DHSCgovuk *at the time* the difference is even more stark.

On 4th April, Dept of Health said the number of deaths due to COVID-19 by 3rd April was 4,313.

Today the ONS says it was 6,235.

That's an increase of *45%*
Read 6 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!