Americans Prepare for Brexit
By Maggie Holland, Editorial Assistant
March / April 2019
The troubles of Brexit do not stop at the E.U. border. The American Brexit Committee convened in New York City on January 24 to assess how Great Britain’s exit from the European Union will affect Ireland and the 1998 Good Friday Agreement (GFA). The meeting included members and representatives from major Irish-American organizations, including the Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH), the Irish American Unity Conference (IAUC), the Brehon Law Society, the American Committee on American-Irish Relations, as well as academics and labor activists.
In order to strengthen America’s ties to Ireland, the American Brexit Committee, a longstanding ally, seeks to call attention to the real threat of Britain’s Brexit policies not only to Ireland’s economy, but also to American investments in Ireland.
“There is little doubt,” asserted John Dearie, a former New York State legislator and prominent New York City 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.”
Among the topics discussed were the Trump administration’s rewarding of the U.K. for Brexit with a massive trade deal despite the U.S.’s considerable trade deficit with the U.K., the fifth largest economy in the world.
National AOH board member Dan Dennehy is concerned that Ireland may be getting “shortchanged” in the U.S.’s courting of the U.K., citing the absence of a new U.S. Ambassador to Ireland. ABC Chairman John Corcoran added, “Hopefully the British will respond to Congress with truth faster than the 40 years it took them to tell the truth about Bloody Sunday!” ♦