The Minister for Justice has said he believes that the terms of the Good Friday Agreement will deliver a soft Brexit.

Speaking on RTÉ's The Week In Politics, Charlie Flanangan said: "I believe reading the (Good Friday) Agreement, sticking by the terms of the Agreement, that will ultimately lead to a soft-Brexit.

"I am encouraged by the repeated utterances on the part of the British Prime Minister, Theresa May, in which she says that the Good Friday Agreement is not going to be set aside," he added.

However, he warned that a hard Brexit could lead to a return to violence and politicians needed to take into consideration the fragile nature of the peace process.

"The greatest threat to the security of this State comes from dissident republicans along the border and a hard Brexit, or a difficult Brexit, will feed into tensions and could well give rise to difficulties that none of us want."

Asked about the British Labour party's policy of wanting the UK to be part of a customs union with the EU, Mr Flanagan said he only took a "modicum of comfort' as Labour has "its own issues and problems."

Fianna Fáil Justice Spokesperson Jim O'Callaghan said the failure to restore power-sharing in Belfast meant Sinn Féin and the DUP were giving "an opportunity to these hardline Brexiteers to say that the Good Friday Agreement isn't working." 

Sinn Féin's Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire responded by saying a deal on the restoration of Stormont had been on the table and his party's "willingness to back into the Institutions is absolutely crystal clear." 


Read more: Brexit and the Border: The Great Reckoning?


Meanwhile, Tánaiste Simon Coveney is due to meet with the European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator in Brussels tomorrow.

Mr  Coveney is travelling to Belgium for EU meetings focusing on Article 50 – the British mechanism to leave the bloc.

His meeting with Michel Barnier will centre on the EU’s legal translation of phase one of the Brexit talks, which was agreed in December.

This translation is due to be released on Wednesday.