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Dublin: 14 °C Wednesday 27 May, 2020

US Congress votes unanimously to renew support for Good Friday Agreement

It called for strict adherence to the Good Friday Agreement during Brexit negotiations “to ensure a lasting peace in Northern Ireland”.

The United States Capitol in Washington D.C.
The United States Capitol in Washington D.C.
Image: DPA/PA Images

THE US HOUSE of Representatives unanimously voted in favour of a resolution to reaffirm support for the Good Friday Agreement (GFA).

The vote took place in the House of Representatives last night at 11.30pm Irish time following a debate on Capitol Hill.

It called for strict adherence to the Good Friday Agreement during Brexit negotiations “to ensure a lasting peace in Northern Ireland”.

The bill stated that the US Congress “greatly values” the relationship shared between the US, the UK and the Republic of Ireland.

It said a trade deal between the UK and the US is based on the condition to preserve the peace agreement.

The legislation also urged against “the reintroduction of barriers, checkpoints, or personnel, also known as a ‘hard border’, between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland [which] would further threaten economic cooperation between the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom as well as the successes of the Good Friday Agreement”.

The resolution had been sponsored by Democratic Congressman Tom Suozzi from the House Foreign Affairs Committee and co-sponsored by Republican Congressman Peter King. 

“The signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998 was a momentous achievement that marked the official end of the Troubles,” Congressman Suozzi said. “But recent events have created uncertainty and put the agreement at risk.

“The uncertainty created by Brexit have led to fears of instability and even the introduction of a hard border.

“Next week the people of the United Kingdom will go to the polls in a crucial election which will determine the outcome of Brexit. While it would be inappropriate for any American elected official to interfere in another country’s electoral process, it’s important that the United States makes our position clear on policies in which we have a vested interest.”

Last month, former US Vice President Joe Biden voiced his support for protecting the GFA and avoiding a return to a hard border after Brexit.

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Amy Croffey

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