The American Brexit Committee met last week in New York to assess how the U.K.’s exit from the European Union will impact Ireland and the Good Friday Agreement.
The meeting was held at the law offices of John Dearie in Manhattan, and Irish Consul General Ciaran Madden was on hand to provide a Brexit update.
“There is little doubt,” stated Dearie, a former New York State legislator and now a prominent attorney, “that the Good Friday Agreement and the peace process in Ireland will be threatened with Brexit. The divorce will have a negative impact on the economy not only of the Irish Republic but on Northern Ireland, one of the U.K.’s poorest regions.”
According to a press release, the meeting's attendees included representatives of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, the Irish American Unity Conference, the Brehon Law Society, the American Committee on American-Irish Relations, academics, and labor activists.
Topics discussed included Brexit options still in play, continuing concern for British compliance with Good Friday Agreement obligations, the proposed U.S.-U.K. trade proposals the Trump administration is preparing as a reward for Brexit, the suspended Northern Ireland government, invitations to Member of the European Parliament Martina Andersen, legal activist Niall Murphy and others as expert witnesses before Congress, and the role of Irish American congressional groups.
“Americans must be aware that some in the [U.K.] government wish to scrap the Good Friday Agreement as outliving its usefulness, and of the British Ministry of Defense’s incessant efforts to undermine legacy investigations,” stated Peter Kissel, national president of the Irish American Unity Conference.
A larger discussion ensued on the actions of the Trump administration to promote and reward the U.K, the world’s fifth largest economy, with a massive trade deal despite the substantial deficit the U.S. has with the U.K.
Dan Dennehy, national AOH board member speculated, “The absence of a new U.S. ambassador to Ireland has added to our concerns that Ireland may be getting shortchanged in this rush to play pattycake with the U.K.”