Ms Pelosi has warned the UK that there will be “absolutely no chance” of a trade deal with the US passing Congress should the Government override the Brexit withdrawal agreement signed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson. The Speaker of the House of Representatives said Brexit could not be allowed to “imperil” the Good Friday Agreement – brokered to establish peace in Northern Ireland after years of sectarian unrest. It comes after Mr Johnson unveiled plans to override key elements of last year’s Brexit deal with the EU regarding Northern Ireland checks.
In a statement on Wednesday, Ms Pelosi said: “The Good Friday Agreement is the bedrock of peace in Northern Ireland and an inspiration for the whole world.
“Whatever form it takes, Brexit cannot be allowed to imperil the Good Friday Agreement, including the stability brought by the invisible and frictionless border between the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland.
“If the UK violates that international treaty and Brexit undermines the Good Friday accord, there will be absolutely no chance of a US-UK trade agreement passing the Congress.
“The Good Friday Agreement is treasured by the American people and will be proudly defended in the United States Congress.”
It is not the first time Ms Pelosi has made such claims.
In April 2019, the Democratic Party politician also warned there would be no post-Brexit trade deal between the US and the UK if any “harm” came to the 1998 accord.
She said the deal “ended 700 years of conflict” and was “a model to the world”.
However, Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) peer Lord Empey – who was his party’s lead negotiator on the parts of the agreement which set up Northern Ireland’s government structures – hit out at her for her “complete misunderstanding”.
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“Because some of the proposals in the withdrawal agreement – including the backstop – actually are an attack on [the 1998 deal]…
“I’ve never come across a time when there’s been so many experts on the Good Friday Agreement.
“Yet most of the people who’re spouting about it weren’t within a mile of it.”
Meanwhile, Fianna Fail welcomed her comments, saying they send “a strong message to the UK that their desire to leave the EU cannot be at the cost of the peace process”.