Published: Sat, April 20, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

'US Congress stands with Ireland on Brexit,' Says Nancy Pelosi

'US Congress stands with Ireland on Brexit,' Says Nancy Pelosi

Mrs Pelosi, a Democrat who is speaker of the US House of Representatives, spoke at the Republic's Department of Foreign Affairs at the start of a two-day visit to Ireland.

But part of the process was to persuade her to visit Ireland, leading a congressional delegation as she is doing this week.

She made clear that no trade deal between Britain and the United States which undermines the Good Friday agreement is possible.

"We must not and we will not allow that progress to be undermined", Pelosi warned on Wednesday, calling the agreement a "beacon to the world".

Nancy Pelosi, the US Speaker, rebuked the hardline Brexiteer Mark Francois for being condescending during a private lunch this week.

She raised the possibility of difficulties for any future U.S./UK trade deal if Brexit causes serious issues for the peace process and what is now an nearly invisible border on the island of Ireland.

He wondered where Mrs Pelosi had developed her understanding of the agreement's content, noting that the current Dublin administration does not contain anyone who helped forge the deal, and that Sinn Fein were absent from key parts of the talks - and in any case "didn't support the agreement at the time" anyway.

She said to the Tory MP: "Don't condescend to me or to us'".

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She certainly was playing to a friendly crowd in Dáil Eireann today as she addressed members, past and present.

Their presence alone in Ireland would have been very significant, but Pelosi's hard line on no new border was an extra bonus and a very powerful one at that for the Irish government.

Ms Pelosi said: "We have said that we are guarantors for the Good Friday Agreement because we believe it is fair to both sides - that is why they agreed to it".

Dermot O'Hara, a spokesman for Border Communities Against Brexit, greeted her at the frontier.

"This is a British border here, we want the border to be in the Irish Sea and we appreciate the visit by the delegation and their support for the rights of the Irish people". There can be no hard border.

Ms Pelosi, the third most powerful figure in the U.S., challenged the "red-faced" former junior defence minister after an exchange about the nature of the Irish border.

He added: "Since Brexit there has been a very loud voice along the border communities and further away from the border communities that we can not go back to the past, we can not go back to a border that is going to obstruct the free-flowing movement of goods and people on a day-to-day basis".

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