Nancy Pelosi Gives an Exclusive Interview on Brexit

Christiane Amanpour sits down for an exclusive interview with the most powerful woman in Washington, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, as she travels to Dublin to issue a stern warning about Brexit and weakening the Good Friday Agreement.

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CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: I think you gave the prime minister a pretty stern warning, saying that if the good Friday peace agreement between Britain, northern Ireland, and the Republic of Ireland here, shepherded by the United States, if that is harmed in this process, there will be no brilliant U.K.-U.S. bilateral trade deal.

NANCY PELOSI, U.S. HOUSE SPEAKER: I wouldn’t call it a stern warning — I would call it a prediction. And that is to say, the U.S. was very much a part of this historic peace agreement, but it’s not just that agreement. It was something bigger. It’s a value that — that just took us to this place of success on the part of the U.K. having a role in it, Ireland, Northern Ireland, and the United States. And we are guarantors of that, not just the agreement, Good Friday Accords, but the idea of it and what it is as a model to the rest of the world. And as a model to the rest of the world, it can’t be something that is unraveled.

AMANPOUR: I mean you are a long-time experienced political hand and the Brexiters have been telling their people and their voters that it’s just going to be really easy to exit the E.U. and strike all these wonderful trade deals in short order with the United States, with Australia, with wherever. Is that realistic?

PELOSI: No, but let me just be respectful of the vote of the people. They made their vote. And the government is trying to implement that. And that’s the business of the U.K. and the E.U. It’s very hard to pass a trade agreement in Congress. Very, very hard. And at one — a U.S.-U.K. trade agreement that would be a reward for weakening of the Good Friday Accords is just not a possibility. But maybe they can accomplish it without doing that. We just wanted to make sure they understood that as a consolation for leaving the E.U., they’re not getting the U.S.

AMANPOUR: You also met with the leader of the Labour Party, the opposition party, Jeremy Corbyn, and you also met with several of his party who have defected over the anti-Semitism row. What did you learn about that and why did you take the occasion to meet with the opposition to the opposition?

PELOSI: Well, let me just say that on our trip we met with the speaker of the House, which is a colleague that I have worked with in the past as speaker. We met with the — we’ve spoken with the leadership of the government and those who oppose the government’s position. We spoke to the leadership of the opposition and those who oppose the opposition’s position. So it wasn’t just those who disagree with the Labour Party’s position.

About This Episode EXPAND

Christiane Amanpour speaks with Nancy Pelosi in an exclusive interview about Brexit. She also speaks with historian Simon Schama about Notre Dame Cathedral’s place in history. Alicia Menendez speaks with Mitchell S. Jackson about his path from drug dealer to justice reform advocate.