07/02/2019

Brexit: US Congress Warn Of Trade Detriment Caused By Hard Border

Members of Congress in the United States have warned that any return to a hard border in Ireland could have an adverse impact on any post-Brexit trade deal between the UK and the US.

It comes as Tánaiste Simon Coveney is in Washington this week, hosted by Democratic Congressman Richard Neal, who is responsible for trade.

As the official who advises the US president on any deals, due to the democrats now controlling the house, Mr Neal raised concerns over the potential of a hard border and said the future of any type of trade partnership between the UK and US is determined by the maintenance of a soft-border.

Democratic Congressman Brendan Boyle added: "I think it would incredibly naive for anyone to think that there would be no impact if there was in any way backsliding from the Good Friday Agreement.

"Just as the United States was pivotal in the 1990s, we're prepared again to make sure that we preserve the peace that has been achieved on the island of Ireland."

As part of his visit, the Tánaiste launched the Government's new US and Canada strategy for the period up to 2025.

It aims for the nation to double its impact across the Atlantic, through a programme of investment and engagement.

Commenting on strategy, Mr Coveney said: "I and my Government colleagues are determined to protect, invest in and develop Ireland's relationship with the US and with Canada for the future.

"We want these relationships to thrive for the benefit of all of our citizens.

"What's envisaged in this strategy is nothing less than a step-change in our engagement; and an engagement commensurate with the importance of the relationships, taking account of new geopolitical realities and demographic change."

The Foreign Affairs Minister meet US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Irish-American groups.

He will also join many of his EU counterparts and representatives of over 70 countries, in attending a ministerial meeting of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, of which Ireland is a member.



(JG/CM)

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