Please see below summary to Section 2 of the report “Precedent In German Unification for Ireland”. Section 2 in full is available at the link
Taoiseach Enda Kenny, speaking in Brussels on the 2nd of March 2017 said, “the Good
Friday Agreement contains the opportunity to put in these negotiations language that
has already been agreed in internationally binding agreement, that at some future time
were that position to arise, that if the people by consent were to form a united Ireland
that that could be a seamless transfer as happened in the case of East Germany and
West Germany when the Berlin Wall came down.”
At the McGill Summer School in July 2016 the Taoiseach stated in relation to the
upcoming Brexit negotiations that “the EU needs to prepare for a united Ireland”.
The Taoiseach also said at that time “The discussion and negotiations that take place
over the next period should take into account the possibility, however far out it might
be, that the clause in the Good Friday Agreement might be triggered.”
Therefore the precedent set out in the reunification of West and East Germany will
need to be included as part of the final Brexit agreement between the European Union
and the United Kingdom. In the event of the people of Ireland voting in favour of a
reunified Ireland as provided for in the Good Friday Agreement the Government needs
to ensure that the north of Ireland will be entitled to automatically become part of the
EU without the necessity for an application or accession process. This declaration by
the EU now will be important to avoid any doubt of EU status for the people of Northern
Ireland. Such doubt on EU membership was one of the factors that led to the loss of
the Scottish Independence Referendum.
Some of the other elements that should be included in the final agreement between
the EU and UK are included in this report. These include the treatment of trade, where
the example of the trading relationship between East and West Germany up until
reunification where the European Economic Community trade rules were not applied
needs to be followed. Such equal treatment of trade between the North and the South
of Ireland on a similar basis would assist the people of Northern Ireland and ensure the
stability of the economy of the whole island and thus the stability of the peace process.
Professor Markus Kotzur of Hamburg University’s submission to the Joint Committee
on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement is included in full in the appendix
of this section.
The Oireachtas Library and Research Service have provided information on EU Agreements
with their overseas territories and countries which has been included in the appendix.
1.The Irish Government must approach Commission President Jean-Claude
Juncker to declare that Irish reunification would be supported by the EU in the
event of the people of the Island of Ireland voting for it as provided for in the
Good Friday Agreement.
This declaration would be similar to that of Commission President Jacque Delors in
January 1990 on the issue of German Unification ‘East Germany is a special case’.
2.To avoid any uncertainties in the Irish case, it would be suitable to insist in the
course of the Brexit negotiations on an additional protocol expressly stating that
in case of an Irish Reunification Reunified Ireland will be considered the same
state as Ireland (state continuity) and that the EU Treaties will be without any
further amendment be applicable to the whole territory of the reunified country
3.Include in the final Agreement between the EU and the UK recognition of the
special status of the people of Northern Ireland and Northern Ireland’
relationship with the South. The precedent for both was set by the European
Community, when it recognised the special status of the citizens of East
Germany and made special provision for trade between the 2 Germanys.
4.Recognition by the EU in the final treaty between the EU and the UK that the
reunification of Ireland would be implicit by Art.79 of the ECSC Treaty, Art. 227(1)
of the EEC Treaty and Art.198 of the EURATOM Treaty leaving acquisition of
territory, and consequently all steps leading to it, with in the domain reserve of
the member statesv