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  • Writer's pictureFriends of Sinn Féin USA

Brits To Break International Law

Updated: Sep 23, 2020

British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab and PM Boris Johnson

This week, British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab, visited Washington, DC as part of a diplomatic offensive. The rushed visit was a direct response to American political leaders calling out British Government proposals to walk away from the withdrawal agreement and break international law. The withdrawal agreement and the Irish Protocol were designed to avoid a hard border in Ireland and to protect the Good Friday Agreement.

Raab had previously endorsed the withdrawal agreement and confessed to not having read the Good Friday Agreement. Raab’s message was simple - we will break international law and agreements. Also... trust us.

In a joint press conference on Wednesday with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Raab pleaded the case that the British were acting in the best interest of the people, peace and economy of the North. Ignoring that the majority of party leaders in the North had recently written to his boss, Boris Johnson, rejecting their approach.

While the current White House has supported Brexit, they are also mindful of the Good Friday Agreement. In response to Raab’s comments, Mike Pompeo brought up the Good Friday Agreement and said that the administration trusted the British Government to do the right thing. The second part of the approach is carrying a lot of weight. Mirroring the Reagan era mantra of trust but verify during the height of Cold War negotiations with Moscow.

Later Wednesday, Raab whose official title is Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs met with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Chair of the Ways and Means Committee Rep. Richard Neal. Following the meeting, Rep. Neal said that they had been given assurances of good faith from the British Government but added that they had heard these reassurances before the British Government walked away from their agreements.

Both Pelosi and Neal reminded the British Government that there would be no trade deal between the US and UK if the Good Friday Agreement was undermined or a hard border imposed in Ireland.

Before leaving Washington, Rabb gave a verbal commitment that there would be no hard border imposed by the British. For a county that has shown no regard for agreements and international law, a verbal commitment is worthless. It is worth restating that the people of the North voted against Brexit. The imposition of Brexit by the British Government created the threat of a hard border.

The EU negotiated in good faith the withdrawal agreement and Irish Protocol as a result of British Government Brexit policy. The only reason why the threat of a hard border is back is because of the government of Boris Johnson and Dominic Raab. The British government is attempting to make their actions an Irish and European responsibility. The solution was already found and agreed to. Dominic Raab and the British government are still not listening to America. It is clear and it is unequivocal - if the actions of Britain lead to any hard border there will be no trade deal. To quote former Vice President and current Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden “Any trade deal between the US and UK must be contingent upon respect for the agreement and preventing the return of a hard border. Period.”

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