McDonald briefs Friends of Ireland

Congressman Richard Neal, Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, tunes into the online briefing for members of Congress given Thursday by Mary Lou McDonald.

By Irish Echo Staff

Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald briefed members of the Congressional Friends of Ireland in Washington Thursday on Brexit and the potential breaching of international law by the British government by way of its Internal Market Bill.

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Speaking following the meeting McDonald said: “The British government has demonstrated that it is prepared to play fast and loose with the Good Friday Agreement and international law.

"This is a fundamental challenge to our agreements, our economic interests, and the rights of citizens. It is a challenge that must be met across Ireland, across the EU and with our partners in the USA."

"Political leaders in the USA were swift and decisive in their condemnation of the British government proposals. I thanked them for their continued support and briefed them on the implications of the British actions and EU today beginning
a legal action."

"We are in the closing stages of a negotiation and it is not too late for the British government to pull back and do the right thing; respect international law and honor their agreements. It is quite clear that if the British government’s
action result in a hard border across Ireland and an undermining of the Good Friday Agreement there will be no trade deal between the U.S. and Britain”

McDonald's reference to EU legal action follows EU Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen signaling on Thursday that the bloc would initiate legal action against the UK over the Internal Market Bill and its threat to the Good Friday Agreement and the potential for a return to a hard border on the island of Ireland.