N Ireland party leader pans Pelosi’s warning on Brexit terms

May 19, 2022, 3:27 PM | Updated: May 20, 2022, 6:39 am
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street, in London, Friday May 20, 2022. (D...

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street, in London, Friday May 20, 2022. (Dominic Lipinski/PA via AP)

(Dominic Lipinski/PA via AP)

LONDON (AP) — U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is facing criticism from the leader of Northern Ireland’s biggest unionist party after saying Congress won’t approve a trade deal with the U.K. if Britain scraps the agreement governing post-Brexit trade on the Irish island.

The trans-Atlantic sparring follows British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government announcing its intention to introduce legislation that would allow it to unilaterally suspend the Northern Ireland Protocol, an international agreement between Britain and the European Union.

Northen Ireland is the only part of the U.K. that shares a land border with an EU nation — the Republic of Ireland — and required special attention when the U.K. withdrew from the EU.

The protocol is designed to preserve the Northern Ireland peace process, but unionists complain it has created a trade barrier between the province and the rest of the U.K.

Pelosi said Thursday that Britain’s actions threatened to undermine the 1998 Good Friday Accords that ended decades of violence in Northern Ireland. She called for “good-faith negotiations” to resolve any differences over the protocol.

“As I have stated in my conversations with the prime minister, the foreign secretary and members of the House of Commons, if the United Kingdom chooses to undermine the Good Friday Accords, the Congress cannot and will not support a bilateral free trade agreement with the United Kingdom,” Pelosi said.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman, Jamie Davies, said the U.K. remains committed to reaching an agreement with the EU and has invited the bloc’s Brexit chief, Maros Sefcovic, for talks.

“We welcome that the U.S. shares our deep commitment to the Belfast Good Friday Agreement and the peace process and has urged the EU to show flexibility,” Davies said.

Jeffrey Donaldson, a member of Parliament and leader of Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party, said the protocol itself is undermining the peace process because it threatens the key principles of the Good Friday Accords, also known as the Belfast Agreement.

The agreement created a power-sharing arrangement in Northern Ireland that operates on the basis of consensus between nationalist parties that seek closer ties with Ireland and unionist parties that want to maintain Northern Ireland’s historic links with the U.K. That consensus no longer exists because unionists in the Northern Ireland Assembly oppose the protocol.

“If Nancy Pelosi wants to see the agreement protected, then she needs to recognize that it is the protocol that is harming and undermining the agreement,” Donaldson said. “And that is why we need to deal with it.”

In a historic shift at the ballot box, the nationalist party Sinn Fein came in first in the vote for the Northern Ireland Assembly this month. But t he DUP has refused to take part in a new power-sharing government in Northern Ireland until differences over the protocol are resolved.

Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin is due to to hold talks with party leaders Friday in Belfast.

Martin said the EU took “decisive action” in October to resolve concerns over the protocol, but the British government has failed to respond.

“This idea that somehow the European Union is being inflexible on this is just not the truth, it doesn’t stack up,” Martin told the BBC, “What has happened now is a certain unilateralism on behalf of the British government saying ‘our way or no way.’ And you don’t negotiate with the European Union on that basis, particularly when you have signed off on the agreement that you now don’t like.”


Associated Press Writer Jill Lawless contributed.


Follow AP’s coverage of Brexit at https://apnews.com/hub/brexit

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Photo by John Moore...
Associated Press

Nevada man sentenced for assault on Vegas-Seattle flight

A 41-year-old Nevada man has been ordered to serve six months home confinement and pay more than $49,000 in restitution after pleading guilty to assault and interference with crew members during a 2019 flight from Seattle to Las Vegas.
18 hours ago
FILE - Joe Kennedy, a former assistant football coach at Bremerton High School in Bremerton, Wash.,...
Associated Press

Supreme Court backs coach in praying on field after games

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court said Monday that a high school football coach who knelt and prayed on the field after games was protected by the Constitution, a decision that opponents said would open the door to “much more coercive prayer” in public schools. The court ruled 6-3 for the coach with the conservative […]
18 hours ago
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents gather before a raid to arrest immigrants considere...
Associated Press

Biden suspends rules limiting immigrant arrest, deportation

BOSTON (AP) — The Biden administration, reacting to a federal court ruling in Texas, has suspended an order that had focused resources for the arrest and deportation of immigrants on those who are considered a threat to public safety and national security. The Department of Homeland Security said in a statement Saturday it will abide […]
18 hours ago
Associated Press

Houston-area sheriff withdraws as candidate for ICE director

HOUSTON (AP) — A Houston-area sheriff said Monday that he has withdrawn from consideration for Immigration and Customs Enforcement director. President Joe Biden nominated Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez to the ICE director’s post in April 2021. However, “more than a year has passed since the President nominated me for this important position, which has […]
18 hours ago
Associated Press

California advances Texas-style lawsuits over illegal guns

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California legislators on Monday approved Texas-style lawsuits over illegal guns, mimicking the Lone Star State’s law aimed at deterring abortions and obliquely linking the two most controversial U.S. Supreme Court decisions from last week. The California bill would allow anyone to sue people who sell illegal firearms. Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom […]
18 hours ago
Associated Press

US officials return to Venezuela amid gas price hike

CLEVELAND, Ohio (AP) — Senior Biden administration officials have quietly traveled to Caracas in the latest bid to bring home detained Americans and rebuild relations with the South American oil giant as as the war in Ukraine drags on, driving higher gas prices and forcing the U.S. to recalibrate other foreign policy objectives. A State […]
18 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]

Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative provides […]

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]

COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
N Ireland party leader pans Pelosi’s warning on Brexit terms