Not so fast Mr. Bolton

Speaker Nancy Pelosi in Ireland last April. photo


By Ray O’Hanlon

Speaker Nancy Pelosi has stuck a boot into the love fest between U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Bolton was in London Tuesday for a Downing Street meeting with Johnson after which Bolton stated that the United Kingdom would be “first in line” and at the “front of the trade queue” after Brexit.

Bolton also lashed out at the European Union stating that the bloc treated its citizens like “peasants.”

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He said this in the land that gave history the “Peasants Revolt.”

Speaker Pelosi was having none of it.

In a statement prompted by Bolton’s comments she reminded him that a future U.S./UK trade deal was contingent on the post-Brexit situation in Ireland.

“The Good Friday Agreement serves as the bedrock of peace in Northern Ireland and as a beacon of hope for the entire world.

“After centuries of conflict and bloodshed, the world has witnessed a miracle of reconciliation and progress made possible because of this transformative accord,” Pelosi said.

“Whatever form it takes, Brexit cannot be allowed to imperil the Good Friday Agreement, including the seamless border between the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland, especially now, as the first generation born into the hope of Good Friday 21 years ago comes into adulthood. We cannot go back.

“If Brexit undermines the Good Friday accord, there will be no chance of a U.S.-U.K. trade agreement passing the Congress. The peace of the Good Friday Agreement is treasured by the American people and will be fiercely defended on a bicameral and bipartisan basis in the United States Congress.”

Following his meeting with Johnson, Bolton, according to a BBC report, said that the U.S. supported a no-deal Brexit and added that Washington would propose an accelerated series of trade deals.

A no-deal Brexit is seen as a particularly significant threat to the status quo in Ireland, and the current relative invisibility of the border.

According to Mr. Bolton, a bilateral agreement or "series of agreements" could be carved out "very quickly, very straight-forwardly.”

He said "doing it in pieces" was not unprecedented and the U.S. understood the importance of doing as much as possible as rapidly as possible before the October 31 Brexit deadline.

He said there would be enthusiastic bipartisan support in Congress for speedy ratification at each stage.

That validity of that assertion is contingent on a number of factors, some of them to be found on the island of Ireland.