On Wednesday 23rd May, Alan Whysall visited the Brussels office to present ‘A Reflection of the Good Friday Agreement’, providing a personal account of his experience of the negotiations that led to the Good Friday Agreement. The event was designed to give a Brussels audience a background to the Good Friday Agreement in light of the interest in the subject stemming from the UK withdrawal negotiations.
Alan is a former Senior Northern Ireland Office Civil Servant, with over 20 years’ experience in the Northern Ireland peace process and is now an Honorary Senior Research Associate at the Constitution Unit at University College London.
Alan’s account covered his involvement in the negotiations that led to the Agreement as well as its implementation during his time as a civil servant at the Northern Ireland Office. He also addressed the areas where he considered the Agreement could have achieved more, and outlined the benefits it has brought to Northern Ireland. Alan, concluded his speech by discussing the future of the Agreement in the context of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.
The breadth of the material covered by Alan gave the audience an insight into the environment in which the agreement was negotiated. The talk provoked a lively discussion and the audience, which included several officials working in posts relating to the UK withdrawal negotiations, reported that they found the event informative, with some taking to twitter to share a positive review.