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Irish premier hails centuries old friendship between Ireland and the US

20 April 2019

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's extraordinary statement this week, that no USA trade deals would be allowed with the United Kingdom unless the Good Friday Agreement was left unchanged, was a reminder to the British that the Irish American card can still get played.

Ireland is concerned about the possible threat to the Good Friday Agreement if a hard border returns between Ireland and Northern Ireland after the Brexit.

Pelosi's comments are likely to annoy members of the ruling Conservative party who insist that a hard Brexit - which include the United Kingdom leaving the bloc's single market and customs union - is necessary in order for the country to strike trade agreements with third countries.

Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, made this remark while delivering a speech at the lower house of the Irish parliament on Wednesday afternoon.

After the signing of the Good Friday Agreement, all the customs houses and checkpoints along the border between Ireland and Britain's Northern Ireland have been removed and people and goods can travel freely across the border.

During the Ireland trip, Ms Pelosi said Brexit should be regarded as just an unwelcome blip in the road to peace and prosperity on the island of Ireland.

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

He said a hard border would be difficult to deal with psychologically, adding: "Many of us going back generations remember what a hard security border looked like here". "The Good Friday accords ended 700 years of conflict".

The success of the Good Friday Agreement depended heavily on American involvement, and indeed could not have been accomplished but for President Bill Clinton and former Senator George Mitchell.

In a forceful address to a special joint sitting of the Houses of the Oireachtas, Mrs Pelosi emphasised the depth of support in Washington DC to the Northern Ireland peace process. She called the agreement a "beacon to the world".

"We want our nearest neighbours to thrive and to prosper".

He said a hard border would be difficult to deal with psychologically.

"We can not jeopardise that", she continued.

Joe McHugh, education minister in the Republic and Donegal public representative, said the visit of the third most powerful politician in the U.S. was very important.

Irish premier hails centuries old friendship between Ireland and the US