September 9, 2020
Ways & Means chairman Richard Neal is pictured in this 2019 photo at a Cape Cod reception for the American Ireland Fund.
SPRINGFIELD, MA – Sept 8, 2020- Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal (D-MA) released the following statement on Brexit negotiations between the European Union and the United Kingdom:
“Earlier this year, the European Union and the United Kingdom approved a Withdrawal Agreement that established the terms of the United Kingdom's orderly exit from the EU. I urge both sides to uphold the terms of this joint agreement, particularly with respect to the treatment of Northern Ireland, in accordance with international law. The UK’s departure from the EU at the end of this year and any U.S.-UK trade agreement must preserve the Good Friday Agreement, which has maintained peace and prosperity for British and European peoples since 1998.
"The United States is a guarantor of that historic peace accord, which was approved by the people of Ireland, north and south, in an unprecedented referendum. Since the landmark peace deal was reached in 1998, the 310-mile border in Ireland has remained frictionless and invisible. Every political party on the island opposes a return of a hard border. I sincerely hope the British government upholds the rule of law and delivers on the commitments it made during Brexit negotiations, particularly in regard to the Irish border protocols."
In a November 2019 speech in Boston to the New Englnd Council, Neal had taken a hard line on the then-un resolved Brexit issues.
"“You know,” he said, “Brexit has been a three-year process and now the divorce is under way. What I think it’s also fair to say is that you shouldn’t over-promise by suggesting that this was going to be easy. It was nonsense from the start. So here we are three years later, and really no closer to an agreement in terms of trying to stitch up all the loose ends.