Comments today by British Minister Michael Gove threatening the imposition of direct British rule in the event of a no-deal Brexit is further evidence that the British Government has abandoned any pretence of impartiality or commitment to the Good Friday Agreement.
Michelle O Neill said:
“Coming on the back of the anti-agreement vote in Westminster yesterday and the blatant attempts to defend the illegal actions of British state forces during the conflict, today’s comments are conclusive evidence that the British Government has turned its back on the principles underpinning the Good Friday Agreement.
“These comments are a blatant attempt to penalise those of us in Ireland including the progressive parties in the north and the Irish Government who have stood up to British attempts to bully us into accepting a disastrous Brexit position.
“Let me be clear, we will not be intimidated.
“The British Government and Michael Gove, a long-term opponent of the Good Friday Agreement are playing to the unionist demand for unrestrained British direct rule.
“I cannot overstate the grave implications if the British government follows through on these threats.
“Direct rule is not an option. Direct rule would be entirely unacceptable to Sinn Féin, the Irish Government and nationalist opinion.
“The British Government’s focus should be on restoring the political institutions and ending its support for the DUP’s denial of rights.
“The Irish Government has a responsibility as a co-guarantor of the Good Friday Agreement to oppose any attempt by the British Government to act unilaterally break joint international agreements.”