US politician calls for envoy to be appointed to Northern Ireland over protocol issues

US congressman Brendan Boyle warned that any moves towards a return to a hard Border would mean there would be no US/UK trade deal.
US politician calls for envoy to be appointed to Northern Ireland over protocol issues

Vivienne Clarke

US congressman Brendan Boyle has repeated a call for the appointment of a US envoy to Northern Ireland.

It would be an important role and “can only help the process” he told RTÉ radio’s News at One.

Mr Boyle called on the UK to stop using the Northern Ireland protocol as a way of getting another round of “panic mode talks”.

David Frost and Boris Johnson had signed the agreement, the deal had gone through parliament, and they had won an election on the basis of the agreement, but “every couple of months” the issue arose again with threats to “rip it up”. This was distracting, he said.

But it did not matter what he said or what “London” said, “it’s what the people of Northern Ireland are saying”. Sixty per cent of the vote in the recent election had been “pro the protocol”. That was an impressive and overwhelming majority.

There was evidence that the protocol was benefiting Northern Ireland financially, providing access to the EU market. There were “tangible advantages”.

Any moves to exclude Ireland from the Single Market or to establish a border were unacceptable, he added.

Mr Boyle warned that any moves towards a return to a hard Border would mean there would not be a US/UK trade deal, that was the view on both sides of the aisle and of president Biden, he said.

Comments by David Frost in Washington DC on Thursday reminded him of similar rhetoric 30 years ago when then president Bill Clinton had been involved in the peace process and had “essentially been told to butt out.”

The US had not “butted out” and instead had been involved in one of the most important peace deals of modern times.

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