The US Democrat urged Prime Minister Boris Johnson last week to honour the provisions of the NI treaty that he negotiated with the European Union in 2019. Furthermore, she warned the Prime Minister that if the UK government’s decision to unilaterally change the protocol undermined the Good Friday peace agreement, then there could be no prospect of a bilateral trade deal between the US and Britain. Her remarks provoked a furious response from Lord David Frost, who accused the US politician of being “ignorant” of the realities in the province.
Now, a leading Trade Unionist has added his opinion to the simmering row between London and Washington.
Paul Embery tweeted: “It would be nice if @SpeakerPelosi were to respect the territorial integrity of the United Kingdom in the same way she (rightly) does for Ukraine.”
Ms Pelosi has been a staunch supporter of Ukraine in its fight to defend its sovereignty from Vladimir Putin’s invading army.
In a social media post published on the day of the invasion, the Democrat wrote: “We are united with strength and coordination in our commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
Liz Truss, the Foreign Secretary, announced plans last week to create new legislation that would override parts of the `Brexit Withdrawal Treaty agreed between the UK and EU.
Mr Johnson and his ministers argue the NI treaty is not working as it was intended to and has led to a rise in sectarian tensions that is undermining the Good Friday agreement.
However, the Government has yet to publish the law as it weighs up threats by Brussels to rescind the wider post-Brexit trade deal in the event of unilateral action by the UK over the protocol.
Mr Embery’s comments provoked a heated debate on social media, with many criticising the Government over its planned course of action.
One wrote: “Would also be nice for the UK government to respect the democratic wishes of the people of Northern Ireland and respect binding international agreements that they sign up to.”
While another commented: “Frost and Johnson are furious that the Frost-Johnson protocol is to be implemented in accordance with the Frost-Johnson protocol that Frost and Johnson championed, signed up to, and pushed through parliament.”
However, others defended the Prime Minister and accused the US of a lack of understanding of the situation in the province.
One tweeted: “There is a massive misunderstanding in the USA of what they think NI is, there’s a perception it’s some kind of occupied territory.
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In recent elections, the party has campaigned on a pledge to remove the Northern Ireland protocol.
It is currently refusing to take up its places in the Northern Ireland assembly until the protocol is modified.
Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, the DUP’s leader, slammed Ms Pelosi’s intervention as “entirely unhelpful”.
He said: “The problem for Speaker Pelosi is that there is not bipartisan or cross-community support for the protocol in Northern Ireland, it is undermining the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement, it is undermining the political institutions that were established under that agreement, it undermines the principle of consent.
“You cannot have powersharing without consensus in Northern Ireland so the bipartisanship or the consensus that is required is not won in the US congress, it’s won in the Northern Ireland Assembly and I would urge Speaker Pelosi to understand that because I think that her contributions are entirely unhelpful, offer no solution, offer no help and merely repeat a mantra that frankly is hopelessly out of date.”