Members of the US Congress have written to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson calling on the British government to reaffirm its commitment to the Stormont House Agreement and to repeal the proposed amnesty to address longstanding issues of trouble.
Under the plan, the British government would create a proposed statute of limitations that would end all accident prosecutions until April 1998 and apply to veterans as well as ex-paramilitaries.
The proposals, which the UK prime minister said would allow Northern Ireland to “draw a line under the problems”, would also end all civil investigations and proceedings related to the dispute.
In their letter to Johnson, members of the US Congress expressed disappointment about the plans.
“We are concerned that these proposed inheritance laws would further strain the British-Irish relationship and reinforce widespread sentiments that justice is once again being denied,” the letter said.
The letter, led by Congressmen Brendan Boyle and Brian Fitzpatrick, was signed by 36 members of the US Congress from both political parties.
“It is very disturbing to learn that the British Parliament is planning to backtrack on its commitment to the Stormont House Agreement,” said Congressman Boyle.
“Such a move would not only prevent access to justice for those who have gone missing from the conflict, but would also strip families of their legal rights protected under European law and the Good Friday Agreement. To this day, approximately 1,700 conflict-related cases remain pending investigation,” he added. .
– Brian O’Donovan (@BrianOD_News) September 16, 2021
Pelosi endorses Good Friday deal at Johnson meeting
Meanwhile, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi expressed her support for the Good Friday agreement in a meeting with Mr Johnson.
After talks with Mr Johnson in London, House Speaker Pelosi issued a statement saying she reiterated strong support for the Good Friday Agreement in the United States.
“In respect of the will of the British people and Brexit, I reiterated the strong bipartisan support that the Good Friday Agreements continue to enjoy in the US Congress, and we hope that the ongoing negotiations will produce a positive outcome recognizing this historic agreement,” she said.
The speaker of the US House of Representatives has warned in the past that there will be no US-UK trade deal if Brexit threatens the peace process in Northern Ireland or leads to the return of a hard border.
A Downing Street spokesman said Johnson raised the issue of the Northern Ireland Protocol during his meeting with Pelosi.
The spokesman said: “He made clear the UK’s concerns about the way in which the Protocol is being implemented and its impact on the people of Northern Ireland. Both Prime Minister and Speaker Pelosi agreed on the importance of maintaining peace in Northern Ireland.”
Pelosi said her meeting with Mr Johnson was an opportunity to celebrate the special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom.
“In our meeting, Prime Minister Johnson and I discussed shared priorities including fighting the climate crisis and responding to the coronavirus pandemic,” she said.
In the interest of global security, I commend the Prime Minister for his leadership in working with President Biden and Australian Prime Minister Morrison on the recently announced Tripartite Security Partnership.
Pelosi said she has invited Mr Johnson to a bipartisan leadership meeting at the US Capitol when he travels to Washington later this month.
Meanwhile, Mr Johnson appointed Conor Burns as Minister of State in the Northern Ireland office.
Burns, who was born in Belfast, resigned from government in May 2020 after an investigation found he had threatened a company chief over a financial dispute with his father.
He was impeached from Parliament for seven days after an investigation into his conduct.
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