Wednesday 18 September 2019

Nancy Pelosi promises to help block US-UK trade deal if Good Friday Agreement is damaged

Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg
Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

US Speaker Nancy Pelosi has warned she will help block the White House offering the UK a trade deal after a disorderly Brexit if the Good Friday Agreement is damaged.

The Democratic politician has played down the significance of promises from Donald Trump’s office of a quick trade agreement.

On a visit to London earlier this week, the US National Security Advisor John Bolton said the UK would be “front of the trade queue” for a new trade agreement after Brexit.

However, Ms Pelosi has issued a statement this evening in which she says the Good Friday Agreement should take precedent above economics.

She described the 1998 agreement as “the bedrock of peace in Northern Ireland and as a beacon of hope for the entire world”.

“After centuries of conflict and bloodshed, the world has witnessed a miracle of reconciliation and progress made possible because of this transformative accord,” she said.

Ms Pelosi’s intervention will be seen as timely by the EU as the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been talking up his chances of securing new trade with the US.

The veteran politician visited Ireland earlier this year along with a delegation of influential congressmen and senators. She addressed the Dáil and travelled to the border region.

In her statement today, she said: “Whatever form it takes, Brexit cannot be allowed to imperil the Good Friday Agreement, including the seamless border between the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland, especially now, as the first generation born into the hope of Good Friday 21 years ago comes into adulthood.  We cannot go back.

“If Brexit undermines the Good Friday accord, there will be no chance of a US-UK trade agreement passing the Congress. 

“The peace of the Good Friday Agreement is treasured by the American people and will be fiercely defended on a bicameral and bipartisan basis in the United States Congress,” Ms Pelosi said.

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