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Brexit: Irish bishops, need to work “collectively” to “maximise the possibility of certainty and agreement”

As the deadline for the UK’s withdrawal from the EU approaches, “there is a risk of deepening political and societal polarisation”. This is according to the Irish bishops who released a statement on Brexit following their General Meeting that has just concluded in Maynooth. “Political ambiguity is generating understandable fear among families and employers, particularly those most vulnerable to the negative consequences of a lack of agreement”, the bishops wrote. For this reason, they appealed “to all those charged with the heavy responsibility of making political decisions in the service of the common good, to collectively work to maximise the possibility of certainty and agreement”, by going “beyond the personal, party and even national interest”. “The obligations of the Irish and British Governments under The Good Friday Agreement – the statement reads – remain of paramount importance especially with regard to the potential impact of any decisions made on the rights of people on the island”. Governments should “act impartially and with respect for the interests, aspirations and rights of all embraced by the scope of the Agreement”. “Irrespective of the future nature of trading blocs around the globe”, interdependence, solidarity and peaceful diversity must “continue to be essential hallmarks of the relationships between the islands of Ireland and Britain, and the rest of the EU”.

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