The Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi says the seamless border in Ireland must not be jeopardised by Brexit, during an address to Dáil today.
She told politicians and others assembled in the house of power that the U.S. would continue to stand with them to protect the values of the Good Friday Agreement.
She made an address as part of a year-long celebration to mark 100 years since the first sitting of Dáil Éireann:
“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.
She added: “Let me be clear. If the Brexit deal undermines the Good Friday accords there will be no chance of a UK-US trade agreement. I say that hopefully, that we will not have to face that reality, but I say it as a prediction.”
Ms Pelosi’s words were met with applause by a packed chamber of parliamentarians, and special guests including U2 frontman Bono – who she praised at length, noting that after attending so many of his concerts, she was glad to see he was in her audience for a change.
She also praised the legacy of John Hume and the late Martin McGuinness in a powerful tribute to the Northern Ireland peace process.
“We treasure the Good Friday accord because it is not just a treaty, it is an ethic, it is a value, it is an article of faith for us, it is a beacon to the world. We treasure the Good Friday accord because of what it says is possible for the entire world; a reason to hope in every place that dreams that reconciliation will be possible for them too.
“America will continue to stand with you in protecting the peace that the Good Friday accords have realised.
“Now, the first generation born into the hope of Good Friday – the children born then are 21 years old now – are entering their adulthood, knowing peace, we cannot jeopardise that. We must not and we will not allow that progress to be undermined.”