Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald will travel to the United States over concern that the British government will “breach international agreements” related to Brexit and the Northern Ireland Troubles.

Mrs McDonald will travel to Washington and New York to brief members of the US administration and senior congressional leaders.

The trip comes amid concern that Britain could trigger Article 16 of the Northern Ireland Protocol, after British prime minister Boris Johnson earlier this month said overriding parts of his Brexit deal with the EU would be “perfectly legitimate”.

Sinn Féin is also concerned that the British government could breach the 2014 Stormont House Agreement on dealing with the past, if it proceeds with a plan to give amnesty to those accused of crimes during the Troubles.


Mrs McDonald said the next few weeks will be “extremely critical” for both issues.

“Boris Johnson’s Tory government is threatening to breach two international agreements; something which could have serious repercussions for everyone on the island of Ireland,” she said.

“The majority of people and parties in the north opposed Brexit and want to see the Irish protocol working, not undermined. The majority of people and parties in the north are universally opposed to the proposed amnesty for British soldiers and efforts to prevent families from getting truth and justice.

“Because of the seriousness of the situation, I am travelling to the United States this week to brief the administration and senior political leaders on Capitol Hill including the majority leader in the senate, senator Chuck Schumer.”

Mrs McDonald said she will also meet with the Congressional Friends of Ireland group, senior trade union leaders and make an address to the New York Bar Association.

“The US administration and congress have proven to be vital partners in promoting the cause of peace and progress in Ireland and they are united in calling for all agreements to be honoured and implemented. Their continued support will be critical in the time ahead,” she added.

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