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Nancy Pelosi: 'US Congress stands with Ireland on Brexit'

Edmund Heaphy
Finance and news reporter
US House of Representatives speaker Nancy Pelosi meets Irish prime minister Leo Varadkar in Dublin. Photo: PA

Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi told Irish parliament on Wednesday that the United States Congress stands with Ireland as it faces the challenges posed by Brexit, and warned that the “seamless border” in Northern Ireland must remain.

Pelosi once again said that there would be “no chance” of a US–UK trade agreement if the Brexit deal undermined the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.

“Know that the United States Congress — Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate — stand with you, especially now as the first generation born into the hope of Good Friday enter adulthood knowing peace. We cannot jeopardise that.”

The Good Friday Agreement ushered in 20 years of relative stability in Northern Ireland. The process that led to its signing was chaired by former US Senator George Mitchell.

In the 30 years before the signing of the agreement, clashes — known simply as the Troubles — took the lives of more than 3,600 people.

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

“On that holy day, the world saw the dawn of peace in Northern Ireland that few had dared to dream.”

“We must ensure that nothing happens in the Brexit discussions that imperils the Good Friday accord, including — but not limited to — the seamless border between the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland.” 

Pelosi also said she supported Ireland’s bid for a seat on the United Nations Security council, citing its strong record in opposing the spread of nuclear arms and in global peacekeeping and humanitarian missions.