Brexit must not undermine peace process, says Hillary Clinton on Dublin visit

Hillary Clinton has said Brexit should not be allowed to undermine the Northern Ireland peace process.

The former US secretary of state and presidential candidate was at Trinity College Dublin to receive an honorary degree.

She said the 1998 Good Friday Agreement which largely ended violence in Northern Ireland set an example for the rest of the world of what was possible when citizens came together to demand peace and worked to preserve it.

She added: “As the Brexit debate rages on, I continue to believe in the value of the European Union, and of a Europe that is whole, free and at peace.

“No matter the outcome of these discussions, Brexit should not be allowed to undermine the peace that people voted, fought and even died for.”

The impact of Britain’s withdrawal from the bloc next year on the Northern Ireland peace process which ended three decades of bloody violence is disputed.

<figcaption class='imgFCap'>Hillary Clinton first visited Northern Ireland in 1995 (Brian Lawless/PA)</figcaption>
Hillary Clinton first visited Northern Ireland in 1995 (Brian Lawless/PA)

The future of the Irish border is one of the most vexed outstanding issues facing negotiators in Brussels.

A variety of North/South co-operation mechanisms were established as part of the Good Friday Agreement.

Mrs Clinton first visited Northern Ireland in 1995 at a crucial time for the peace process.

She accompanied Bill Clinton as he became the first serving US president to visit Northern Ireland and they were greeted by huge crowds of well-wishers.

They switched on the Christmas lights in Belfast during a hugely symbolic visit.

On Thursday Mrs Clinton met Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at Government Buildings in Dublin to discuss gender equality.

The informal discussion came on the same day European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker and the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier also held talks with Mr Varadkar.

- Press Association

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