House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday warned that there would be “no chance” of a US-UK trade deal if the UK were to undermine the 1998 Irish Good Friday Peace Agreement while battling with the Union. European Union for the fallout from Brexit.
“Whatever form it takes, Brexit cannot be allowed to jeopardize the Good Friday deal, including the stability brought by the invisible and frictionless border between the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland,” Pelosi said. in a statement. “The UK must comply with the Northern Ireland Protocol signed with the EU to ensure the free movement of goods across the border.”
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The Good Friday Agreement ended “The Troubles” that have haunted Ireland for decades and brought closer cooperation between Ireland and Northern Ireland, allowing people in Northern Ireland to identify themselves as Irish, British or Irish. both.
Pelosi was reacting to an ongoing feud between the U.K. and E.U. officials for Britain’s exit from the bloc. The UK has formally left the EU. in January, after signing a withdrawal agreement that includes a complex trade and movement agreement between Ireland (an EU member) and Northern Ireland, in order to avoid a “hard” border between the two.
Keeping the border open was a key issue of the 1998 agreement that brought peace to Northern Ireland after decades of violence between those who wanted a united Ireland and those who wanted it to remain part of the UK.
While talk of a free trade agreement between the EU and the UK stalled, Britain threatened to ignore parts of last year’s withdrawal agreement. A new bill presented by the government would rewrite parts of the agreement, although officials said the effect would be “limited”.
According to the BBC, the proposed new bill would mean no control over goods from Ireland to the rest of the UK and would give ministers the power to change or “disapply” the rules relating to the movement of goods if there was no free agreement. exchange. He says those powers apply even if they are incompatible with international law.
This raised concerns that the 1998 deal might be at risk, fears reiterated Wednesday by Pelosi.
“If the UK violates that international treaty and Brexit undermines the Good Friday deal, there will be absolutely no chance of a US-UK trade deal going through Congress,” he said. “The Good Friday agreement is appreciated by the American people and will be proudly defended by the United States Congress.”
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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, however, on Wednesday rejected similar claims, saying the move was to protect, not undermine, the deal from “extreme” Brussels interpretations.
“My job is to uphold the integrity of the UK, but also protect the Northern Ireland peace process and the Good Friday deal,” he told the House of Commons. “To do this, we need a legal safety net to protect our country from extreme or irrational interpretations of the protocol that could lead to a border along the Irish Sea in a way that I believe, and I think House members believe that it is prejudicial to the interests of the Good Friday Agreement and prejudicial to the interests of peace in our country “.
It is not the first time that Pelosi has threatened to torpedo a trade deal between the United States and the United Kingdom, something that is considered by many to be of vital importance for the post-European Union. economic future.
Last year he made similar remarks to the Irish Parliament.
“I have said this before and I repeat, we need to make sure that nothing happens in the Brexit discussions that jeopardizes the Good Friday agreement, including, but not limited to, the seamless border between the Republic of Ireland and Ireland. ‘Northern Ireland,’ she said.
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“Let me be clear: if the Brexit deal undermines the Good Friday deals, there will be no chance of a US-UK trade deal,” he said.
It runs counter to the position of President Trump and many Republicans, who have been optimistic about the chances of a deal between the United States and the United Kingdom.