Bonnie Greer has been credited with the most powerful statement of BBC’s Question Time last night when she pointed out Ireland owed the UK absolutely nothing in the Brexit negotiations.
Appearing on the programme alongside Nadhim Zahawi, Sarah Jones, Anand Menon, and Melanie Phillips, the TNE columnist was listening to some of the panellists effectively agreeing to a post-Brexit trade agreement with America.
But Greer, from Chicago, was more concerned about Ireland’s economic interests which could prove to be a stumbling block. She said that America will always be a country that cares about the interests of Ireland.
She said: “Often at times, I hear people talking about Ireland as if this country (UK) owns Ireland. Ireland owes this country nothing. Ireland owes this country no concessions, it owes it no quarter, it owes it nothing.”
She continued to echo the point made by Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the United States House of Representatives, as she outlined the importance of the Good Friday Agreement to American politics.
“The second thing that I’d add too is that the Good Friday Agreement – in spite of its rather benign name – is a truce. It’s a truce because the United States of America and the EU sat down with this country to make it happen. We have to be much more serious about this,” she added.
“The third thing that I’d like to say is that the United States is Irish. If anyone thinks that they’re going to get a deal through and have a trade relationship with the United States that shafts Ireland, you’ve got another thing coming. It’s not going to happen. It’s not going to happen. I’m from Chicago and you know what we do on St. Patrick’s Day? We dye the river green.”
She warned: “People are very serious about Ireland in the United States. Don’t mess with it, don’t make it look bad.”
Dr Jennifer Cassidy tweeted: “If there were any more reasons to love Bonnie Greer, well I’ve just found one.”
Twitter user Ted wrote: “That was a spine tingling piece of dialogue from her. I think her analysis will become an iconic statement about brexit in future when we look back.”