Saturday 25 May 2019

Pelosi warns Trump a US-UK trade deal that threatens peace in Ireland 'can't happen'

Tanaiste Simon Coveney and US House of representatives speaker Nancy Pelosi pictured at a reception in Iveagh House, Dublin. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Tanaiste Simon Coveney and US House of representatives speaker Nancy Pelosi pictured at a reception in Iveagh House, Dublin. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

THE third most powerful politician in the United States has warned Donald Trump and the Brexiteers not to even think about a US-UK trade deal if there is any threat of a border in Ireland.

Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker in the House of Representatives, said a trade agreement that damages peace in Ireland “just can’t possibly happen”.

Addressing a small gathering in the Department of Foreign Affairs, Ms Pelosi said the Good Friday Agreement is “not just a peace agreement” but something that resolved hundreds of years of conflict.

She said America, including President Bill Clinton and former senator George Mitchell, had worked hard to ensure people on this island could live in harmony.

“This isn’t for us an issue or an agreement. It’s a value.”

Ms Pelosi, who regularly clashes with US President Donald Trump, went on to say that while speaking with UK politicians in recent days she made clear the position of the Democratic Party.

Tanaiste Simon Coveney and US House of representatives speaker Nancy Pelosi pictured at a reception in Iveagh House, Dublin. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Tanaiste Simon Coveney and US House of representatives speaker Nancy Pelosi pictured at a reception in Iveagh House, Dublin. Photo: Gerry Mooney

She said the UK people had voted to leave the EU and politicians must facilitate that.

But she added: “And as they work that out, not to think for one minutes that there’s any comfort for them that if they leave the EU they will quickly have a US-UK trade agreement.

“That’s just not in the cards if there is any harm done to the Good Friday accords. Don’t even think about it.”

Ms Pelosi said that US politicians were not taking sides. “We’re just holding to our values. It’s an ideal that is a model for the world. Other place copy so that they can make peace and find common ground.”

Tánaiste Simon Coveney told the same lunch gathering that Ireland respects the UK’s decision to leave the Uion.

“We have no desire to make life difficult for the UK,” he said, adding that Ireland would be the strongest voice in the EU when it comes to support a close relationship in to the future.

“We want our nearest neighbours to thrive and to prosper.”

Mr Coveney said Britain will make its own decisions about the future but “they don't have the right to determine ours”.

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