Blinken Gets A Brexit Briefing

Secretary of State Anthony Blinken

By Irish Echo Staff

To say that newly confirmed Secretary of State Anthony of Blinken has a full in-basket would be an understatement.

Add to this pile a communication from the American Brexit Committee with regard to Brexit and its implications for the Irish peace and political process, an issue that has seen rising temperatures in recent days with regard to the Northern Ireland Protocol.

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The ABC has communicated with the Secretary of State be means of a letter that raises a number of issues and concerns.

The letter reads in part: "As you begin your service as Secretary, the American Brexit Committee urges your in-depth review of Britain’s compliance with the letter and spirit of 1998 Belfast/Good Friday Agreement and its related pacts (Hillsborough, Weston Park, St Andrew’s, Stormont House, Fresh Start). Such a review is not only important to the success of the Irish peace process but also timely.

"Britain’s exit from the EU could dramatically alter human rights obligations, corrupt more legacy investigations and prosecutions and, if it suits Britain’s Ministry of Defense, restore a hard border in Ireland. The Northern Ireland Protocol to the EU Withdrawal agreement requires adaptation and interpretation and a Joint EU Ministers Committee will decide implementation amendments. This is the ‘long grass’ where the British are at their mendacious and bullying best.

The ‘long grass’ for undermining the Good Friday emerged before the ink was dry on the pact and continues to the present day. This includes embedding MI-5 agents in every NI police station despite the Patten Commissions recommendation to the contrary, and legislation for retroactive amnesty for murder, rape and torture for it agents and soldiers in the North.

"In 2002 current Minister of State Michael Gove penned The Price of Peace, a Conservative Party document which shredded every facet of the GFA and called for efforts to oppose it with all legal measures.

"In the two decades that followed, Britain has undermined the principles of the international peace treaty by restricting Coroners Inquests only in NI, has imposed ‘national security’ vetoes over all information requests, and even destroyed the records of its own Stevens Inquiry.

"To cover-up a legacy of State sponsored terror, the British have obstructed obligations of pacts and crafted plans and policies calculated to bring yet another future takeover by London. The goal is to frustrate any democratic initiatives for Ireland’s re-unification. In short, Britain signed whatever America and the EU wanted in the international treaty knowing full well they could undermine any promises with domestic law and actions!!

"At the time, the Good Friday Agreement was a significant foreign policy achievement crafted by the initiatives of President Clinton and Speaker O’Neill who had enough of Britain’s bullying and stonewalling peace efforts in Ireland. Today it is President Biden and Speaker Pelosi who have had enough and have shared their concerns for the reports of suppression of evidence of large-scale collusion killings of civilians and elected officials and the murder of lawyers Patrick Finucane and Rosemary Nelson.

"If the Conservatives disdain for the GFA is any indication, imagine the treachery and harm awaits Ireland as post-Brexit actions unfold in the ‘long grass’.

"We understand that a new US-UK trade deal must be mutually beneficial and prioritized to address the trade and tariff chaos of the previous Administration. There are, obviously, far more important benefits obtainable for American workers, consumers and businesses by first repairing trade policies with the EU, China, India, Japan, and South America rather than to rush any British trade deal.

"The Chairman of Ways and Means Richard Neal and the Chairman of Foreign Affairs Gregory Meeks, who also share concerns for the GFA, have voiced trade deal objectives for the new Administration that reflect that reality. A report from the Secretary of State on the progress of British compliance with the GFA would be most welcome in their deliberations and in prioritizing trade priorities."