WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi warned Britain on Wednesday that ignoring some parts of its European Union divorce treaty could imperil any new trade agreement with the United States.
“If the U.K. violates that international treaty and Brexit undermines the Good Friday accord, there will be absolutely no chance of a U.S.-U.K. trade agreement passing the Congress,” the Democratic lawmaker said in a statement.
“The Good Friday Agreement is treasured by the American people and will be proudly defended in the United States Congress,” Pelosi said.
Britain quit the EU in January but has remained part of its single market, largely free of trade barriers, under an agreement that expires in December. London says that if it cannot negotiate a favorable trade deal to take effect from Jan. 1, it will simply walk away.
The agreement calls for border-free trade on the island of Ireland, which the EU says should in some cases require checks on goods passing between Northern Ireland and mainland Britain.
Some fear that a failure to agree on border arrangements could jeopardize the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, which largely ended three decades of political and sectarian conflict in Northern Ireland.
(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Dan Grebler)