Today’s announcement between the United Kingdom and the European Union on the Windsor Framework is an essential step to ensuring that the hard-earned peace and progress of the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement is preserved and strengthened. I appreciate the efforts of the leaders and officials on all sides who worked tirelessly to find a way forward that protects Northern Ireland’s place within the UK’s internal market as well as the EU’s single market, to the benefit of all communities in Northern Ireland.
I am confident the people and businesses of Northern Ireland will be able to take full advantage of the economic opportunities created by this stability and certainty, and the United States stands ready to support the region’s vast economic potential. Joe Kennedy, our new Special Envoy to Northern Ireland for Economic Affairs, will drive this effort in close cooperation with Ambassador Jane Hartley in London and Ambassador Claire Cronin in Dublin, as well as with business leaders in Northern Ireland.
Northern Ireland can accomplish the extraordinary when its leaders work together in common cause. And I hope – as we all do – that Northern Ireland’s political institutions are soon back up and running. Those institutions embody the principle of devolved, power-sharing, representative government at the core of the Good Friday Agreement.
As Northern Ireland prepares to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Agreement in April, let us remember that ending decades of conflict was not easy or inevitable. It required hard work and determination, and an unfailing faith that a better future was possible. Today, an entire generation of young people has grown up knowing only possibility and growing prosperity—the hard-earned dividend of peace. I am deeply proud of the role the United States has played for decades to help achieve, preserve, and strengthen that peace enshrined in the Agreement. And I look forward to continuing to work closely with our partners in Northern Ireland, the Governments of the United Kingdom and Ireland, and the European Union, to further that peace and prosperity.