| 9.3°C Belfast

Brexit: Pelosi warns 'no chance' of US-UK trade deal if GFA threatened as senior EU politician meets Gove for emergency talks

Close

US House of Representatives speaker Nancy Pelosi holds a press conference at Bridgened in Co Donegal with Congressman Richard Neal as part of her four-day visit to Ireland and Northern Ireland in April 2019. Niall Carson/PA Wire

US House of Representatives speaker Nancy Pelosi holds a press conference at Bridgened in Co Donegal with Congressman Richard Neal as part of her four-day visit to Ireland and Northern Ireland in April 2019. Niall Carson/PA Wire

PA

US House of Representatives speaker Nancy Pelosi holds a press conference at Bridgened in Co Donegal with Congressman Richard Neal as part of her four-day visit to Ireland and Northern Ireland in April 2019. Niall Carson/PA Wire

US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has said there will be "absolutely no chance" of a US-UK trade agreement if the Good Friday Agreement is undermined by Brexit.

Mrs Pelosi released a statement on Wednesday in which she described the Good Friday Agreement as Northern Ireland's "bedrock of peace".

It comes after Boris Johnson's bid to override key parts of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement and NI Secretary Brandon Lewis's confirmation the changes would "break international law" in a "very specific and limited way".

In response, Speaker Pelosi said Brexit cannot be "allowed to imperil" the 1998 peace accord.

"The UK must respect the Northern Ireland Protocol as signed with the EU to ensure the free flow of goods across the border," she said.

"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," she concluded.

Daily Headlines & Evening Telegraph Newsletter

Receive today's headlines directly to your inbox every morning and evening, with our free daily newsletter.

This field is required

Last year Mrs Pelosi visited Northern Ireland and crossed the border into Donegal to see the impact of Brexit.

Meanwhile, Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove is holding emergency talks with European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic after he demanded the British government “elaborates” on its plan to override key parts of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement.

Mr Sefcovic will travel to London on Thursday to meet Mr Gove. Chief spokesperson for the commission Eric Mamer said: "The EU seeks clarifications from the UK on the full and timely implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement."

Democratic Congressman Richard Neal told RTE he had expressed his concerns on the latest Brexit developments and the implications they would have for Northern Ireland and the Good Friday Agreement with Mrs Pelosi.

In his role as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Congressman Neal will oversee any future US-UK trade agreement.

"She indicated that she is consistent with my view that any threat that would reimpose a border on the island of Ireland would negate any possibility of having a free trade bilateral agreement with the United Kingdom."

In a Tweet on Tuesday, Antony Blinken, a foreign policy adviser to Joe Biden, said Mr Biden is committed to preserving peace in Northern Ireland.

The adviser to the Democratic presidential candidate said: "As the UK and EU work out their relationship, any arrangements must protect the Good Friday Agreement and prevent the return of a hard border."

"I sincerely hope the British government upholds the rule of law and delivers on the commitments it made during Brexit negotiations, particularly in regard to the Irish border protocols," he said.


Top Videos



Privacy