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01st Feb 2019

Former Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab admits that he never read the Good Friday Agreement

Paul Moore

Dominic Raab

Ladies and gents, he was responsible for negotiating with the EU.

Earlier this week, former Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab was giving evidence to the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee and during a line of questioning, he revealed that he has never read the Good Friday Agreement (Belfast Agreement).

The MP for Esher and Walton said that: “Um, I haven’t sat down and started at the beginning and gone through it. But of course at various points of the negotiations when issues have been raised, it has been an important opportunity to delve into the different aspects very carefully”.

Raab adds: “It’s not like a novel, you sit down and say ‘do you know what, over the holidays, this is a cracking read'”.

Given the fact that the Good Friday Agreement is an internationally binding treaty that ensured peace in Northern Ireland after three decades of brutality and violence, you would like to think that it registers on the radar of those elected MPs who claim that they’re acting in the best interests of Northern Ireland and the United Kingdom.

Hell, the Good Friday Agreement isn’t even 40 pages long.

However, for context, Frankie Boyle previously offered a very interesting insight into Raab’s competence as a politician.

“The man of the year was Dominic Raab. A man who resigned because he couldn’t agree to a deal that he himself had negotiated. Dominic Raab could be outmanoeuvred by a statue of Stephen Hawking. To be fair to him, he didn’t want to be Brexit secretary but he didn’t have the negotiating skills to turn it down” joked Boyle.

If you think that description is cruel, it’s worth having a read of Raab’s comments regarding the Dover-Calais crossing.

Raab isn’t the only MP that’s currently in Theresa May’s administration to state that they’ve never read the Agreement though.

Caroline Nokes, a Conservative Party politician and the current Minister for Immigration, also made that admission.

When asked if she had read the Agreement, Nokes said “No, no I haven’t but I think 20 years ago I was probably giving birth.”

Of course, the benefits of the Good Friday agreement continue to be seen every day in Ireland as it encouraged a spirit of cross-community peace and co-operation – an environment that nobody wants to see jeopardised or put at risk.

In recent months, DUP leader Arlene Foster stated that the Good Friday Agreement is not “sacrosanct” – it’s worth noting that the DUP campaigned against it in 1998 – while only recently, the SNP’s Ian Blackford said (via The Guardian) that this week’s vote in the House of Commons “has effectively ripped apart the Good Friday Agreement”.

Again, it’s worth reiterating that Northern Ireland voted overwhelmingly against Brexit and Raab’s latest statement has not pleased his detractors- especially since they’re acting as the representative for Northern Ireland during discussions with the EU.

Following this revelation, Labour MP David Lammy described Raab as a “shameless chancer”.

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