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Former US Special Envoy to Northern Ireland Gary Hart outlines Brexit border concerns

The former US Special Envoy to Northern Ireland, Gary Hart
The former US Special Envoy to Northern Ireland, Gary Hart

The former US Special Envoy to Northern Ireland has written to the US Senate expressing his concerns over the impact of Brexit on the peace process.

Gary Hart served as Northern Ireland envoy between 2013 and January 2017 under former US President Barack Obama. In 2015 he played a role in the talks which later let to the Stormont House Agreement.

The role been left vacant since President Donald Trump took office.

He's written to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to urge it to make clear to the UK and European Union the necessity of protecting the Good Friday Agreement by maintaining an open border on the island of Ireland, according to RTE.

Mr Hart wrote in his letter that there was great concern over the possibility of the restoration of a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

"Virtually all knowledgeable observers believe such a policy has the distinct possibility of reigniting sectarian conflict and violence and thus abrogating the central purpose of the Good Friday Agreement," he wrote.

Mr Hart advised members of the Senate to continue to build on the strong bipartisan consensus, which he said had helped to sustain the Good Friday Agreement for the last 20 years.

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