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What about the frontstop, Irish Primate asks

11 October 2019

PA

The Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Michael Jackson, in 2018

The Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Michael Jackson, in 2018

BREXIT is not a commodity which can be simply marketed as an Irish problem, the Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Michael Jackson, told his diocesan synod on Monday.

He described Brexit as “terrifyingly unclear” in both parts of the island of Ireland. “Obsession around the backstop had effectively stopped people from asking what the frontstop is,” he said. Debate and discourse had coarsened and hardened, and populism and parliamentarianism were pitted against one another.

“My own thoughts are with the whole range of people who are affected by Brexit in many jurisdictions, and in a very specific way in Ireland and in the Church of Ireland. This is a European issue that cannot be ‘marketed’ as solely an Irish problem,” he said.

Pointing out that the hard-won peace was and is an international agreement, he said that people lived and worked on what was now changing from being a peaceable border to a contested border. “Peace in its day was courageous. Peace today remains a precious prize right across Ireland.”

He said that those people were becoming pawns “in a politics of cynical neglect and atrophy of understanding. They are our people, too, however different they may sound.”

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