US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday said
she would oppose a post-Brexit trade deal between the US and Britain
if it damages an agreement signed two decades ago between the
Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
"If Brexit undermines the Good Friday accord, there will be no chance of a US-UK trade agreement passing the Congress," Pelosi said in a statement, referring to the agreement reached on Good Friday in 1998. "Whatever form it takes, Brexit cannot be allowed to imperil the Good Friday Agreement."
The top House Democrat's remarks come after National Security Adviser John Bolton said that the United States would support a "no deal" Brexit, which would likely result in a hard border with customs checkpoints on the island of Ireland.
There are concerns that imposing physical checks between Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom, and the Republic of Ireland, which is an EU member, could restart the violence that plagued Northern Ireland for decades starting in the 1960s.
"The Good Friday Agreement serves as the bedrock of peace in Northern Ireland and as a beacon of hope for the entire world," Pelosi said. "After centuries of conflict and bloodshed, the world has witnessed a miracle of reconciliation and progress made possible because of this transformative accord." Bolton said Monday in London that the US would enthusiastically support a no-deal Brexit if that is what the British government decided to do.
Britain is set to leave the EU on October 31 with or without an exit deal. But any new post-Brexit trade deal would be subject to approval by Congress, which would give Pelosi a chance to block it as the Democrats control the lower chamber.
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