WATCH: Author Bonnie Greer defending Ireland against British attitudes on Brexit is simply glorious
"Ireland owes the UK nothing."
On Question Time on BBC on Thursday night, panelists Nadhim Zahawi, Sarah Jones, Anand Menon, Melanie Phillips and Bonnie Greer discussed the issues of the day, including, inevitably, Brexit.
By the end of the show, novelist, journalist and broadcaster Bonnie Greer had made the biggest impression as she issued a poignant and measured argument defending Irish interests during the discussions on Brexit.
During the debate, the panellists discussed the idea of the UK agreeing a post-Brexit trade agreement with the US, essentially, an agreement that will potentially undermine and compete against the single market.
At this point, Greer interjected and 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.
Echoing similar points recently made by Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Greer then outlined the importance of the Good Friday Agreement to American politics. She noted how US politicians will not allow it to be threatened by Brexit, especially since the US were seminal in bringing everyone to the table to negotiate it.
"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," Greer added.
Moving away from strictly political matters, Greer then reaffirmed one stumbling block to any potential post-Brexit trade deal between the US and the UK that could threaten Ireland's economic interests, saying that the US will always be a country keenly interested in Irish affairs.
"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. People are very serious about Ireland in the United States. Don't mess with it, don't make it look bad," she said.
You can view the whole speech here.
‘Ireland owes this country nothing’@Bonn1eGreer says Britain cannot ‘shaft’ Ireland if they want a post Brexit trade agreement with the US. #bbcqt pic.twitter.com/nL66tXiSas
— BBC Question Time (@bbcquestiontime) October 3, 2019