House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that the U.K. can forget about Congressional approval for a free-trade deal with the U.S. if Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union imperils an agreement that ended conflict in Northern Ireland.
U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is facing a backlash from the EU and from within his own ruling Conservative Party after his government said it’s making plans to break its commitments to the bloc over the Irish border. Pelosi said that the U.K. must ensure the free flow of goods across the border, as agreed in Britain’s deal with the EU last year.
Last year’s accord gave Northern Ireland the same trade rules as the EU to avoid customs checks at the land border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, a key part of the Good Friday Agreement two decades go that ended years of bloodshed. A U.K. bill published on Wednesday would allow ministers to override parts of that accord.
“If the U.K. violates that international treaty and Brexit undermines the Good Friday accord, there will be absolutely no chance of a U.S.-U.K. trade agreement passing the Congress,” Pelosi, the nation’s top elected Democrat, said in a statement Wednesday.
And rightly so, if Brits will try to blackmail the European union with the Irish dispute, bring instability and religious tension amongst the Irish, then surely they don’t deserve anything, let alone a deal
Good Friday Agreement
The Good Friday Agreement (GFA), or Belfast Agreement (Irish: Comhaontú Aoine an Chéasta or Comhaontú Bhéal Feirste; Ulster-Scots: Guid Friday Greeance or Bilfawst Greeance) is a pair of agreements signed on 10 April 1998 that ended most of the violence of the Troubles, a political conflict in Northern Ireland that had been ongoing since the 1960s. It served as a major development in the Northern Ireland peace process of the 1990s. Northern Ireland’s present devolved system of government is based on the agreement. The agreement also created a number of institutions between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, and between the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom.
Issues relating to sovereignty, civil and cultural rights, decommissioning of weapons, demilitarisation, justice and policing were central to the agreement.
The agreement was approved by voters across the island of Ireland in two referendums held on 22 May 1998. In Northern Ireland, voters were asked in the 1998 Northern Ireland Good Friday Agreement referendum whether they supported the multi-party agreement. In the Republic of Ireland, voters were asked whether they would allow the state to sign the agreement and allow necessary constitutional changes (Nineteenth Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland) to facilitate it. The people of both jurisdictions needed to approve the agreement in order to give effect to it.
The British–Irish Agreement came into force on 2 December 1999. The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) was the only major political group in Northern Ireland to oppose the Good Friday Agreement.