Democrat Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said there will be “no chance whatsoever” of a UK-U.S. trade deal after Brexit if Britain leaving the European Union impacts the British-Irish border.
Speaking ahead of a trip to Ireland and the United Kingdom, NancyPelosi said: “first of all it is very hard to pass a trade bill in the Congress of the United States, so [it isn’t a] given any way,” she claimed.
“[B]ut if there were any weakening of the Good Friday accords, there would be no chance whatsoever, a non-starter for a U.S.-UK trade agreement.”
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) April 21, 2016
Given the Republic of Ireland wishes to remain a member of the European Union, at least for now, while Nothern Ireland wishes to remain in the United Kingdom, and the United Kingdom should, in theory, be leaving the EU soon, it is somewhat inevitable there will be some sort of change, no matter how small, to the relationship between the two countries. Given that reality, Pelosi’s comments could be taken as an outright refusal to consider a UK-U.S. trade deal in future.
Mrs Pelosi said she had met with members of Britain’s Labour and Conservative parties as well as speaking to Prime Minister Theresa May on the phone.
“We have met the Speaker [of the House of Commons]. We met with the leader of the opposition Jeremy Corbyn and we met with those who left the Labour Party and we made it clear to all that if there’s any harm to the Good Friday accords — no trade treaty.”
“[T]oday we met with the government, with the Chancellor of the Exchequer and deputy prime minister and those who are in opposition in the Conservative Party and to all of them we made it clear: don’t even think about it,” she threatened.
The British government does not, in fact, currently have a Deputy Prime Minister, the post having disappeared after arch-Remainer turned Facebook PR man Nick Clegg was booted out of office in 2015.
Cabinet Office minister David Lidington — another Remainer — is sometimes described as Mrs May’s de facto deputy in the press, but he does not hold the post in any official capacity, or even the similar but distinct honourary title of First Secretary of State, leaving it unclear who Pelosi actually met.
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— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) June 11, 2018
Her comments are not the first from U.S. representatives, primarily from the Democrat Party, who have sought to put down Brexit and hopes for a successful trade agreement. Barack Obama, then U.S. President, infamously said that Britain would be “at the back of the queue” for trade deals if it voted to leave the EU.
However, some in the U.S. have been far more optimistic about a post-Brexit trade deal. U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom Woody Johnson said in February, “I cannot overemphasize the willingness of President Trump and the American people to make a strong free trade agreement between our two countries.”
And Mr Trump’s national security adviser John Bolton has confirmed, “Trade minister Liam Fox would be welcome here; any member of the [British] government would be welcome here, we can do these deals quickly. We are ready to go. We want to partner with a newly independent Britain.”
President Trump himself has been one of the most enthusiastic cheerleaders for Britain and a trade deal throughout the Brexit process — more enthusiastic at times than even Theresa May — repeatedly emphasising his hope for increased trade between the two nations.
Breitbart London reported in February when the President said: “So with the UK we’re continuing our trade, and we are going to actually be increasing it very substantially as time goes by. We expect that the UK will be very, very substantially increased as it relates to trade with the United States. The relationship there is very good.”
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— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) March 19, 2019