Leading Irish-American businessman describes 'huge amount of concern' in US over Brexit
A LEADING figure in Irish-American business lobby has spoken about the "huge amount of concern" in the United States over Brexit.
Dr Brian O'Dwyer also warned there will be "no trade agreement with the United States unless and until the Good Friday accord is honoured".
He currently serves as chairman of the Irish Chamber of Commerce USA, working to facilitate American investment across Ireland.
Speaking to The Irish News in Belfast, Dr O'Dwyer said "Irish America will stand up as one and resist the trade agreement unless and until the Good Friday Agreement is honoured in its totality".
"We are showing our support for the Good Friday Agreement and America's concern about keeping the Good Friday Agreement in tact considering the attacks that have been on it because of Brexit," he said.
"We want to make sure that everybody understands that, particularly the British, that there will be no trade agreement with the United States, that Irish America will stand up as one and resist the trade agreement unless and until the Good Friday Agreement is honoured in its totality.
"Irish America has spent a lot of time and effort in supporting the Irish government, the Irish people, the British government and the people of the north in terms of bringing forth the peace agreement."
Dr O'Dwyer also spoke about the concerns Irish Americans have about the border post-Brexit.
"There is a huge amount of concern in Irish America about Brexit and the question of the border does concern us, because that was the concern, that was part of the Good Friday Agreement, and that needs to be honoured," he said.
"I think the British in particular have to understand one thing - they might as well deal with it now because if they don't deal with it now they're going to have to deal with it when they come to America - there will be no trade agreement which is the big prize, the big prize is a trade agreement between Britain and the United States.
"There will be no trade agreement with the United States unless and until the Good Friday accord is honoured. That is the message as they approach these deadlines they need to hear."
Dr O'Dwyer met with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in recent days and said he assured him of the support from Irish Americans.
"I said to him that Irish America was fully supportive and whatever we could do to make sure that that agreement was reflective of Good Friday, we would do, and he could count on the support of Irish America in the United States congress and indeed throughout the United States," he said.
"At this moment, we are not seeking to be part of the discussions but we want our position to be known as the parties go into these final days."