Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, has warned Boris Johnson that the United States Congress will block any trade deal with the UK if his government proceeds with a Brexit that damages the Good Friday Agreement.
Speaking to the Irish Times the senior Democratic politician restated her and her colleagues view that protecting the peace agreement had to come ahead of any prospect of a trade deal with the UK.
Commenting, Owen Smith MP, leading supporter of the People’s Vote campaign, said:
“Boris Johnson seems determined to set out on a path that will both trash the Good Friday Agreement and ruin any prospect of a trade deal with the United States.
“Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi has told the Irish Times that the US Congress will not endorse a trade deal with the UK if the outcome of the Brexit crisis jeopardises the 1998 Belfast peace deal.
“That is exactly what No Deal will do – as it will necessitate checks on all trade across the Northern Ireland border and potentially could see large groups of uniformed crown officers raiding nationalist areas to check against smuggling or food safety violations: something that will put stability in Northern Ireland under enormous stress.
“Johnson believes such a gamble is worth it if it opens up the prospect of a US trade deal, but Nancy Pelosi’s comments make it clear the chances of that happening are close to zero.
“The reality is that No Deal and a threat to stability in Northern Ireland are a million miles away from what people were promised in the 2016 referendum. It is an outrage against democracy to claim that a vote by 0.14% of the population – who happen to be Conservative Party members – constitutes some sort of mandate to play these sorts of games with people’s lives and futures.
“The only fair and democratic way out of the crisis is to give the public the final say in a People’s Vote.”
Notes to editors
The Irish Times interview can be read here: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/brexit-pelosi-warns-uk-not-to-jeopardise-belfast-agreement-1.3967768