Pictured (l-r): Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-NY), Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI), Rep. David Joyce (R-OH), Chairman Richard E. Neal (D-MA), Sinn Féin Chief Negotiator Conor Murphy, Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT), Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel (D-NY) and Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA). Photo courtesy Congressman Neal’s office.
By Irish Echo Staff
The bipartisan Friends of Ireland Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives met Sinn Féin Chief Negotiator Conor Murphy Thursday in the U.S. Capitol Building to discuss the implications of Brexit on the island of Ireland, the continuing efforts in Belfast to restore the powers-sharing institutions, and the U.S. commitment to the Good Friday Agreement.
Speaking from Washington after meeting with the Friends and in a gathering hosted by Rep. Neal, Murphy said: “U.S. political leaders have been central to the Irish Peace process, the Good Friday Agreement and the progress that we have enjoyed over the past twenty-five years.
“Today I took the opportunity to update Congress members on the chaos of Brexit.
“I thanked them for their continued support and in particular their resolute opposition to any future trade deal with Britain in the event of a Brexit that undermines the Good Friday Agreement or leads to the return of a hard border.
“I also updated members on our work to re-establish the Assembly and Executive and the continued denial of rights by the DUP and British government.
“We discussed the recent polling in support for Irish Unity and the need to plan and secure a unity referendum as provided for in the Good Friday Agreement.
“I reiterated our hope that they would continue the journey with us as we seek to build a new and united Ireland.”
Murphy also welcomed the commitment of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, and Congressman Neal, who is chair of the House Ways and Means committee, that the U.S. will not agree to a trade deal with Britain post-Brexit if the Good Friday Agreement is undermined.
“This commitment is shared by members across both houses,” Murphy stated in reference to the House of Representatives and Senate.