Ireland

Pelosi rules out U.K. trade deal if Brexit creates hard border with Ireland

Nancy Pelosi
Nancy Pelosi speaks at a reception hosted by Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in the State Apartments in Dublin Castle. Photo: Iain White/Pool/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement Wednesday that there is "no chance" of a U.S.-U.K. trade deal passing Congress if Brexit violates the terms of the Good Friday Agreement, which helped bring peace to Northern Ireland in 1998 by creating a seamless Irish border.

The big picture: Pelosi's statement is in response to comments made by national security adviser John Bolton, who said this week that the Trump administration enthusiastically supports a no-deal Brexit and that the U.K. is "first in line" for a trade deal with the U.S. If Prime Minister Boris Johnson takes the U.K. out of the EU without a deal on Oct. 31, as is the legal default, customs checkpoints would theoretically need to be erected along the Irish border — risking a flareup of sectarian violence.

Trump tells Irish leader Brexit and border issues will go "very well"

 President Donald Trump during a bilateral meeting with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at Shannon airport on June 5, 2019 in Shannon, Ireland.
President Trump and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Photo: Pool/Getty Images

President Trump said Wednesday at a news conference in Ireland Brexit will work out "very well" and so would the border issues it poses for Ireland and Northern Ireland, which is is part of the United Kingdom.

Details: Trump told Ireland's Taoiseach Leo Varadkar "it will all work out very well and also for you, with your wall, your border." He said there's "a border situation in the United States and you have one over here." Varadkar responded, "The main thing we want to avoid, of course, is a border or a wall between both sides." Trump replied, "I think you do ... The way it works now is good, you want to try and keep it that way."