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15 August, 2019 00:00 00 AM

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No UK trade deal if Brexit undermines Good Friday accord: Pelosi

AFP, Washington

An American trade pact with Britain is doomed if the latter's withdrawal from the EU undermines the Northern Ireland peace accord, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi warned

yesterday.

"Whatever form it takes, Brexit cannot be allowed to imperil the Good Friday Agreement, including the seamless border between the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland," Pelosi, the top Democrat in Congress, said in a statement.

"If Brexit undermines the Good Friday accord, there will be no chance of a US-UK trade agreement passing the Congress."

The 1998 Good Friday Agreement brought the decades-old Northern Ireland conflict to an end. But how to handle Northern Ireland has emerged as a core issue for Brexit negotiators.

Because Northern Ireland, which is a part of the United Kingdom, shares a border with Ireland, a part of the EU, critics have warned that Brexit might require reimposing a hard border on the island -- essentially upending the agreement that has kept peace in Northern Ireland for the past two decades.

Goods and people freely cross the border, as both countries are currently members of the EU.

The withdrawal agreement negotiated last year between London and Brussels contains a "backstop" plan to maintain this situation whatever happens with Brexit.

However, British MPs have rejected it three times and new Prime Minister Boris Johnson warns the backstop must go or Britain will leave the EU on October 31 without any deal.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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