House Speaker Pelosi of the United States warns Britain: no trade deal if you don’t honor the Northern Ireland peace deal.

London (Reuters) – Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi told Britain that there might not be a trade deal with the U.S. after it leaves the EU if it goes ahead with plans to change some of the rules that govern trade with Northern Ireland on its own.

The comments come after Britain warned the European Union this week that it could get rid of rules that were carefully negotiated with Brussels, such as border checks on some goods shipped from mainland Britain to Northern Ireland.

The post-Brexit trade protocol aims to keep the British-run province, which borders EU member Ireland, in both the UK’s customs territory and the EU’s single market.

Pelosi said that she thought the current agreement was important for keeping the peace deal from 1998. This deal ended three decades of fighting between Catholic nationalist militants and pro-British Protestant “loyalist” paramilitaries in Northern Ireland, in which 3,600 people died.

Pelosi said in a statement, “If the UK decides to undermine the Good Friday accords, Congress cannot and will not support a bilateral free trade agreement with the UK.”

Britain says that it is acting to keep the Good Friday agreement in place.

Even though the United States helped broker a peace deal in 1998, Northern Ireland is still very divided along sectarian lines. Many Catholic nationalists want Ireland to join the United Kingdom, while Protestant unionists want Ireland to stay separate.

Britain thought that a trade deal with the U.S. would be one of the best things to come out of leaving the EU. However, when the new Biden administration made it clear that it was not a top priority, those hopes were dashed.

Any trade deal between the U.S. and Britain would have to be approved by the U.S. Congress.

Pelosi’s warning came after Conor Burns, the newly named special envoy for the Northern Ireland protocol in the United States by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, went to Washington to explain the British position.

Pelosi said, “Respecting the will of the British people and Brexit, I urge constructive, collaborative, and good-faith negotiations to put into place an agreement that keeps the peace.”

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