Pelosi Says New U.S.-U.K. Trade Deal Has No Chance of Passing Congress if ‘Brexit Undermines Good Friday Agreement’

  • Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced on Wednesday that a U.S.-U.K. trade deal will not pass through Congress if Brexit is detrimental to the Good Friday Agreement, which could harm Northern Ireland.
  • Pelosi said in a statement: “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.”
  • Pelosi continued: “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 Good Friday Agreement brokered in 1998 ended decades of conflict in Northern Ireland, which began in the 1960s.
  • Northern Ireland has been a source of contention during Brexit negotiations since Northern Ireland is part of the U.K. and “shares a border with Ireland, which is part of the EU.”
  • “The reimposition of frontier controls between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland if the UK leaves the EU without mutual agreement” on October 31, which is the so-called hard Brexit, is seen as threatening to the Good Friday Agreement.
  • Pelosi’s remarks followed National Security Adviser John Bolton who said that the U.S. would support a no-deal Brexit, which would possibly trigger the hard border.
  • Additionally, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley noted that he would also support a no-deal Brexit.
  • However, “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.”
  • Pelosi first acknowledged her opposition to a no-deal Brexit in April before the Irish Parliament.

Reference Links

  • BBC: Brexit: No chance of US trade deal if Irish accord hit – Pelosi READ
  • The Guardian: No chance of US-UK deal if Northern Ireland peace at risk – Pelosi READ
  • Politico Europe: Nancy Pelosi says no UK-US trade deal if Brexit risks Irish peace READ
  • The Hill: Pelosi vows no UK free trade deal if Brexit undermines Good Friday accord READ

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