US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi warned Britain on Friday that the cancellation of the Northern Ireland peace deal – known as the Good Friday Agreement – could hamper negotiations for a post-Brexit bilateral trade deal with the United States. will weaken
Pelosi, who was in London, told Chatham House that she was not making a threat, but a prophecy.
“If the Good Friday Agreement is destroyed, they [are] UK-US bilateral is unlikely to happen. “We have to have a way that’s involved,” Pelosi told the London-based think-tank.
Signed by the Irish and British governments in 1998, the Good Friday Peace Agreement helped end 30 years of sectarian violence. Part of that agreement allows for a “soft border” between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, allowing goods and services to pass easily between the two countries.
When Britain left the European Union earlier this year, the sides agreed to keep an open land border between the North and Ireland, which remains a member of the European Union. However, customs checks need to be introduced on goods moving between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.
Faced with internal opposition to those investigations, Britain wants to renegotiate the deal but the EU has so far refused.
The United States, which played a key role in securing the historic 1998 accord, has cautioned Britain against doing anything to undermine the peace deal.
Pelosi said no one was “announcing one thing or another,” and that the government in Ireland has expressed a willingness to iron out differences. But he said any significant changes to the agreements would make a bilateral trade deal with Britain “problematic”.
Pelosi was also asked about US politics and the January 6 attack on the US Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump.
The House speaker said the rebellion, which he said was “instigated” by Trump, was rooted in “some kind of white supremacy, antisemitism, Islamophobia”. He pointed to statements from the FBI that identify domestic extremists as the most urgent terrorist threat on American soil.
Pelosi also urged members of the US Republican Party to “take back their party”.
“The Republican Party, the Grand Old Party, has made tremendous contributions to our country,” Pelosi told party leaders, “don’t let your party be hijacked by a cult.”
Some of the information in this report was provided by the Associated Press and Reuters news organizations.