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May's peace deal message to Irish-America

The Prime Minister has responded to Irish-American concerns that Brexit could be damaging to the Belfast Agreement.

Last month a newly formed ad hoc committee of prominent Irish-Americans wrote to Mrs May and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar with their concerns that the Good Friday Agreement had been put in jeopardy, and expressed fears that British politicians did not fully appreciate the historic importance of the 1998 deal.

In a letter released yesterday, the Prime Minister reassured the group of her commitment to the Agreement, describing it as the "bedrock" of progress in Northern Ireland.

"This Government's commitment to the 1998 Agreement remains steadfast - to the principles it embodies, the political institutions it seeks to establish and the rights that it guarantees.

"The Agreement, along with its successors, has been the bedrock of the significant progress that has been made in Northern Ireland over the past two decades.

"No Government that I lead will ever take risks with the hard-won relative peace and stability that these agreements have established," Mrs May wrote.

James Walsh, co-chair of the ad hoc committee, welcomed the Prime Minister's restatement of her Government's commitment to the Agreement.

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Mr Walsh, a former New York Congressman, said his committee was looking forward to meeting Secretary of State Karen Bradley when she travels to Washington later this month for the traditional St Patrick's Day celebrations.

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