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Statement by BIPA Co-Chairs on 30th anniversary of the Downing Street Declaration

Added 15-Dec-2023

“15 December marks the 30th anniversary of the Downing Street Declaration. This was a major achievement in the bilateral relationship between the United Kingdom and Ireland and laid the groundwork for the Good Friday Agreement.”

 “The Downing Street Declaration was agreed at an extremely fraught and difficult time in the Troubles. It was a leap of faith by leaders who had the courage to trust in a better future. BIPA pays tribute to John Major, Albert Reynolds and all those who worked with them to put this historic agreement in place. The British Irish Interparliamentary Body (as it was then known) was meeting in London when the Declaration was agreed. We hoped then that the Declaration would be important, but we could not have known that it would be the beginning of a remarkable transformation in British-Irish cooperation over the decades to come. Our governments went on to work in close partnership in securing peace in Northern Ireland. Our parliamentary links have strengthened, including through the British Irish Parliamentary Assembly (BIPA). Today, BIPA is a flourishing organisation, exploring a wide range of cooperation across these islands.”

 “While the 30th anniversary of the Downing Street Declaration is an opportunity to reflect on the success of the relationship between the United Kingdom and Ireland over the last 30 years, it is also a reminder of how far we still have to go in in fulfilling the promise of the Peace Process. In particular, it is deeply regrettable that the Northern Ireland Executive and the Northern Ireland Assembly are not functioning. This in turn is an obstacle to the functioning of the North South Ministerial Council. These institutions are essential to ensuring that peace, stability, and reconciliation embrace the totality of relationships on these islands. As Co-Chairs of the British Irish Parliamentary Assembly we call for urgent restoration of the Northern Ireland Assembly and Executive.”


- Irish Co-Chair Brendan Smith TD, and UK Co-Chair Karen Bradley MP.





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