House

Pelosi vows no UK free trade deal if Brexit undermines Good Friday accord

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Wednesday reiterated her opposition to a free trade deal with the United Kingdom if its withdrawal from the European Union harms Irish peace.

“The Good Friday Agreement serves as the bedrock of peace in Northern Ireland and as a beacon of hope for the entire world.  After centuries of conflict and bloodshed, the world has witnessed a miracle of reconciliation and progress made possible because of this transformative accord,” she said in a statement.

{mosads}“If Brexit undermines the Good Friday accord, there will be no chance of a U.S.-U.K. trade agreement passing the Congress. The peace of the Good Friday Agreement is treasured by the American people and will be fiercely defended on a bicameral and bipartisan basis in the United States Congress.”

The 1998 Good Friday Agreement ended the Northern Ireland conflict, which broke out in the 1960s.

Dealing with Northern Ireland has been a central issue for Brexit negotiators.

Northern Ireland, which is part of the U.K., shares a border with Ireland, which is part of the EU.

Critics of Brexit have raised concerns that a deal might require imposing a hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland, upsetting the agreement that has maintained peace for over two decades.

Pelosi’s remarks come after national security adviser John Bolton said that the U.S. would support a “no deal” Brexit, which would likely trigger the hard border. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) also recently said he would support a no-deal exit.

Any new trade deal to substitute the U.S.-U.K. agreements negotiated through the EU would have to be brought to a vote in Congress, meaning the Speaker could block it.

The California lawmaker had originally voiced her opposition to a no deal Brexit to Irish Parliament in April.

Since then, British Prime Minister Theresa May has been replaced by Boris Johnson, an ardent Brexit supporter.

The former London mayor has promised to leave the European Union by Oct. 31, but faces several roadblocks in negotiations. 

— This report was updated at 9:13 a.m.

Tags Chuck Grassley John Bolton Nancy Pelosi Theresa May
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