In 2017, Senator Daly was appointed rapporteur by the Oireachtas Joint Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement of the report Brexit & The Future of Ireland, Uniting Ireland and its People in Peace & Prosperity.
Below is the executive summary and recommendations for the report on Brexit & The Future of Ireland, Uniting Ireland and its People in Peace & Prosperity. Links to each of the seven sections are also below.
The Report and all its recommendations are available here in a 1 page document United Ireland and its People in Peace and Prosperity Report 1 Pager
“The EU needs to prepare for a united Ireland.”
Taoiseach Enda Kenny July 2016
Niall O’Connor the political journalist for the Irish Independent
Reporting from the McGill Summer School in July 2016
As a result of this statement by the Taoiseach it is also clear that Ireland needs to
prepare for a united Ireland. The Joint Committee on the Implementation of the Good
Friday Agreement in its work programme approved by Dáil Éireann appointed Senator
Mark Daly as rapporteur to compile a report on the effect of Brexit on Ireland, what
Ireland should seek to have in the final agreement between the EU and the UK,
particularly in the event of the people of Northern Ireland voting for a united Ireland andwhat Ireland needs to do in order to peacefully achieve its constitutional obligation, as described by Attorney General Brady (2002-07), of a united Ireland, as outlined in
Article 2 and 3 of the Irish Constitution
The report for the Joint Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday
Agreement has seven sections;
All the recommendations for each of the seven sections are at the end of this
introduction, as are all the seven summaries that relate to them. The report to the
Joint Committee also serves as a reference document and includes online copies of Acts and Agreements relating to Ireland and Britain from the Act of Union to the Good Friday Agreement.
High Court Justice Richard Humphreys book ‘Countdown to Unity’ is quoted from
extensively in Senators Daly’s Report. Justice Humphrey’s publication lays out the road
map to the peaceful unity of Ireland and its people. It outlines the various options for the
future of this island and the opportunities and the obstacles that are ahead to achieve the
aim of a peaceful united Ireland which was approved by 94% of the citizens of this state
in a referendum. Other than the New Ireland Forum of 1984, 33 years ago, the Library
and Research Service of Leinster House were unable to find any report by any previous
Government, Department or Oireachtas Committee on how the state would achieve its
core belief of a united Ireland, an objective supported by 79 per cent of people in an
opinion poll in 2016.
Professor Emeritus of Humboldt University in Berlin, Christain Tomuschat’s submission
to the report outlines the precedent in German unification for Northern Ireland’s
automatic inclusion in the EU without the need for an application or accession process
in the event of a vote for reunification.
White House, National Security Council, Senior Policy Advisor on counter terrorism in
President Obamas administration, Michael R. Ortiz has also written a paper for Senator
Daly’s report on the threat of future paramilitary violence attempting to subvert a
referendum and reunification as provided for in the Good Friday Agreement. Michael
Ortiz was the first U.S. diplomat focused on countering violent extremism and was
appointed by Secretary of State John Kerry.
Congressman Brendan Boyle a member of the US House of Representatives Foreign
Relations Committee has submitted a specially commissioned research paper from
the United States Congressional Research Office which is included in this report. This
analyses the true nature of the income and expenditure of Northern Ireland. A report
by Dr. Kurt Hubner of the University of British Columbia shows a reunification scenario
with a boost of 35.6billion euro over eight years to an all island economy. The report for
the Joint Committee also includes elements of the UK House of Lords report on Brexit;
UK- Irish Relations with a particular focus on the common travel area, including
proposals to ensure the continued free movement of people across the border with
Northern Ireland. The economic challenges of Brexit and unification are outlined in
various reports including some from the House of the Oireachtas Library and Research
Service, a key one of these is the analysis of the United Nations Human Development
Index, which measures health, education, and income. The UN report ranks Ireland as
8th in the world alongside Germany, Canada and the United States. In Northern
Ireland’s case the analysis places it 44th in the world alongside the likes of Hungry and
Montenegro. As a result of Brexit, Northern Ireland is likely to drop below 50th joining
the likes of Kazakhstan and Belarus.
This report includes submissions by various politicians, academics and experts from
Ireland, England, Germany and the United States who have given generously of their
time and their experience to assist Senator Daly in compiling it, the first by any
committee of the Irish parliament on how to achieve a united Ireland.
To conclude we include an extract from ‘Irish man of the 20th century’ T K
Whittaker’s‘Note on North-South Border Policy’ written on the 11 November 1968 the
eve of ‘The Troubles’. In it he foresaw the Good Friday Agreement, the long term
nature of achieving a united Ireland, that it required the best of ourselves and a
‘We were, therefore, left with only one choice, a policy of seeking unity in Ireland between Irishmen. Of its nature this is a long-term policy, requiring patience, understanding and forbearance and resolute resistance to emotionalism and opportunism. It is not the less patriotic for that’
Summary of Recommendations
Section 1 Recommendations
The Irish government must negotiate for Northern Ireland to be
designated with special status within the EU and for the whole island
of Ireland to have a unique solution as part of the Brexit negotiation.
If current EU funding programmes cannot be protected then the
eligibility of Northern Ireland for receipt of EU Structural funds and
other funding schemes and mechanisms must be clarified as a matter
of urgency, to help underpin the peace process.
The Report on the All-Ireland Economy: compiled in 2016 by Peadar
Tóibín TD for the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and
Innovation in the light of Brexit should be updated.
Any passport controls between Ireland and the UK should be along the
same basis as for people traveling between these islands from 1939 to
1952. There should not be a return to passport controls on the borders
between the North and South of Ireland.
Given the likely impact on certain categories, including women, in border
counties and employment in these areas there is a need for impact
analysis on these sectors of society
Further research into the income and expenditure for Northern Ireland
should be carried out
Section 2 Recommendations
Welcome the declaration agreed to by the European Council on 29 April
2017 which provides for Northern Ireland automatically becoming part of
the EU in the event of a future united Ireland.
This declaration known in Brussels as ‘The Kenny Text’ is similar to that
of Commission President Jacque Delors in January 1990 on the issue of
German Unification ‘East Germany is a special case’.
Section 3 Recommendations
It is recognised that World Trade Organisation rules and a hard border
would have a detrimental impact on Ireland North and South & Further
impact assessment is required on the economic impact of reunification.
The Committee urges that the matter of EU funding for Northern Ireland and
the border region remains high on the agenda and an expeditious solution is
found for successor programmes after 2020.
Section 4 Recommendations
The establishment of a New Ireland Forum 2 is recommended to set a
pathway to achieve the peaceful reunification of Ireland.
Establish an international task force with experts in security so that plans to
meet any risks may be devised and implemented.
Fears and concerns of the Unionist community need to be examined,
understood and addressed comprehensively by all stakeholders in advance
of any referendum.
The legacy issues in society outlined by Senator Frances Black and the
inter- generational impact of the troubles in terms of mental health
consequences and substance abuse needs to be addressed
Section 5 Recommendation
Explore potential solutions to resolve disputes that may arise from the
implementation of the Good Friday Agreement, as recommended by High Court
Justice Kevin Humphreys.
Section 6 Recommendation
Lessons from referendums need to be learned to ensure that the Irish
government fulfils its constitutional obligations.
Section 7 Recommendation
The Government needs to carry out an audit in relation to the
legal and constitutional changes pre and post-unification