Liz Truss outlines 'necessity to act' on Northern Ireland protocol
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“But it’s important, and we stress this, that they [the UK Government] negotiate and that they not take unilateral action.
“I think that was a very firm point that was pressed by our delegation, most particularly Richie Neal,” the congressman leading the delegation.
He told RTE yesterday (Monday): “The only way we can come to agreement, the only way we protect the incredible progress that’s represented with the Good Friday Agreement, is face-to-face negotiation.
“It is disappointing to see unilateral action being considered; we stressed that that was not the approach that we recommend. But again, difficult to determine their motivation, but we don’t believe that is the proper path.
Mr Kildee repeated the claims of Speaker Nancy Pelosi that unilateral action over Northern Ireland could jeopardise a US-UK trade deal.
He told Irish radio listeners that there would be cross-party support across the pond for such a move, adding: “There cannot be a US-UK trade agreement if there is damage done to the success of the Good Friday Agreement.”
The US congressman said that he hoped the effects of the Protocol would not damage the peacekeeping deal, noting that there would always be periods of difficulty, but that it was “important to keep the history in mind”.
He said: “It’s interesting that is the history that we celebrate when we think about the incredible benefits of the Good Friday Agreement, a very difficult, long-standing dispute resolved through negotiation.
He said, however, that it was “up to London to help us all find a solution”.
Simon Coveney, Ireland’s foreign affairs minister, said the visit by the US delegation served as “a reminder of just how important the peace process and the Good Friday Agreement on this island is to many people in Washington”.
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