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Brexit talks continue and progress reported

Congressman Richard Neal. photo.


By Irish Echo Staff

The effort to secure a Brexit deal moved past a midnight deadline Tuesday and into today with reports indicating progress on a package that the British government will present to the European Union in advance of a two day EU summit beginning tomorrow.

Any deal formulated by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will also have to survive the unpredictable attention of the British parliament.

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Reports indicate that the Democratic Unionist Party has agreed to a formula on consent that would allow it to support whatever deal the British government ultimately comes up with. Meanwhile, RTE was reporting that House of Representatives Way and Means committee chairman, Richard Neal, had issued “a fresh warning” that there will be no trade deal between the U.S. and the UK if Brexit leads to the return of a hard border.

Neal was speaking at an event at the Irish Embassy in Washington Tuesday night on the issue of the future of U.S.-Irish relations.

Congressman Neal, according to the RTE report, said he would not be backing away from the emphasis he has placed on the fact that America is a guarantor of the Good Friday Agreement.

"There's no talk of going back to the bad old days. Without that border, commerce has flourished and cultural exchanges have taken place," he said.

Neal, the report added, made reference to the fact that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has also warned that there will be no trade deal with the UK if Brexit undermines the Good Friday Agreement.

"She has said to the entire galaxy of the UK government that they can forget it,” he said.

The Massachusetts congressman added that he and his colleagues would be happy to do a bilateral trade agreement with the UK but only if the border is kept open and left alone.