Schumer joins Pelosi in opposition to post-Brexit trade deal that risks Northern Ireland accord

Schumer joins Pelosi in opposition to post-Brexit trade deal that risks Northern Ireland accord
© Aaron Schwartz

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerBiden win in South Carolina could turn tide, say strategists Sanders blasts Trump for picking 'completely unqualified' Pence for coronavirus response Trump passes Pence a dangerous buck MORE (D-N.Y.) on Monday vowed to oppose any post-Brexit trade deal with the United Kingdom that would risk Northern Ireland's peaceful status quo with Ireland.

In a letter to Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoOvernight Defense: Lawmakers clash during Pompeo hearing on Iran | Trump touts Taliban deal ahead of signing | Trump sued over plan to use Pentagon funds for border wall Warren asks administration for assurances that sanctions aren't hindering coronavirus containment in Iran Trump touts Taliban deal ahead of signing MORE, Schumer praised the Good Friday Agreement between Ireland and the U.K. as a "towering achievement of diplomacy and it planted the seeds of a society based on mutual respect and equality, rather than one based on distrust and discrimination."

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The agreement, which created a free and demilitarized border between Ireland and Northern Ireland in 1998, ended the then-decades long Northern Ireland conflict.

Despite successfully maintaining the peace for more than two decades, the agreement is now threatened by the prospect of a British withdrawal from the European Union without a deal.

Exiting that way would likely require imposing a hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland.

Schumer joins Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi blasts Trump pick: He has shown 'clear disrespect' for intel community Appeals court rules House can't sue to enforce McGahn subpoena House approves bill banning flavored tobacco products MORE (D-Calif.) in opposing any U.S.-U.K. trade deal that would threaten the Good Friday Agreement.

"In this, I stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the bi-partisan, bi-cameral supporters of the Good Friday Agreement (and opponents of a return to a hard border), especially including Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and will do all in my power to work in a bi-partisan way to prevent such pact from receiving the approval of Congress," the New York Democrat said Monday.

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.

Members of the Trump administration and Republican lawmakers have backed a new trade deal regardless of whether a hard border has to be imposed.

National security adviser John BoltonJohn BoltonOvernight Health Care — Presented by American Health Care Association — Trump taps Pence to lead coronavirus response | Trump accuses Pelosi of trying to create panic | CDC confirms case of 'unknown' origin | Schumer wants .5 billion in emergency funds Bolton's lost leverage Azar downplays chance Trump will appoint coronavirus czar MORE said earlier this month that the U.S. would support a "no deal" Brexit, which would likely trigger the hard border. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleySeniors, businesses grapple with landmark retirement law Overnight Health Care — Presented by American Health Care Association — California monitoring 8,400 people for coronavirus | Pence taps career official to coordinate response | Dems insist on guardrails for funding Top Trump advisers discuss GOP need to act on health care at retreat with senators MORE (R-Iowa) also recently said he would support a no-deal exit.

New British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has promised an exit from the EU by Oct. 31, but faces several roadblocks to negotiating a new deal.