IS BORIS LISTENING ?????
Ireland was this week center stage in the discussions on US-British Relations. In his weekly letter from Ireland, Ciarán Quinn asks the questions Is Boris Listening??
A Letter from Ireland
This week all our Irish eyes have been on the US as the United Nations General Assembly met in New York.
Covid has demonstrated how small the world is and how interdependent our destinies remain. Cooperation and coordination are the only way forward. Competing national priorities and security concerns must be reconciled with peace and fundamental rights. On a map, Ireland is a small rock in the Atlantic. On a political level, it is the bridge between Europe and the US. Europe is our closest ally and largest market. The US is family. That was evident this week when political leaders in the US stood up for our Peace Agreements, our economic interests, and our future. In the lead-up to this week, British Ministers had again been threatening to suspend the Irish Protocol which prevents a hard border across Ireland. At the beginning of the summer, they also unveiled proposals to close down criminal and civil investigations into their past actions during the conflict and to offer an unconditional blanket amnesty.
President Biden was clear there would be no trade deal with Britain if the Good Friday Agreement was undermined or a hard border imposed.
The issue was again raised by the Chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee, and co-chair of the Congressional Friends of Ireland group, Rep. Richard Neal of Massachusetts, in his meeting with the British Prime Minister.
Thirty-six Congress Members signed a letter written to Boris Johnston calling for him to remove his proposals on investigations and amnesty. The focus on Ireland is a testament to the influence, leadership, and commitment of the bipartisan Congressional Friends of Ireland which continues to safeguard our agreements and promotes the cause of peace, prosperity, and progress.
The message to Boris Johnston was clear: if you want a trade deal and to build a relationship with the US then honor your commitments to Ireland. Time will tell if Boris is listening. So well done to all in the US and EU for standing by the agreements and holding the British to account. From statements from the White House, to Congressional letters, to the individual phone calls and emails Irish Americans are making to their representatives, there is no doubt that Irish America supports peace, justice, & the democratic right of the people to decide on Irish Unity. Is mise Ciarán
Ciarán Quinn is the Sinn Fein Representative to North America
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