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UK diplomat asked to `peddle half-truths' about Brexit's impact on Ireland
A former top British diplomat in Washington has accused Boris Johnson's government of damagingly downplaying the impact of Brexit on Northern Ireland's "delicate peace process" in statements intended for an American audience.

Alexandra Hall Hall, the lead Brexit envoy to the US who quit her job in late 2019 because she was unwilling to "peddle half-truths on behalf of a government I do not trust", has condemned Mr Johnson's government for being "wilfully disingenuous" in the official messages she was asked to deliver about Brexit in the US.

In a lengthy article published in a US academic journal, the former career diplomat excoriated the UK government for downplaying the cost and impact of Brexit in "public talking points" aimed at presenting the official UK government line in Washington.

"They downplayed the increased friction that was likely for businesses trading between the United Kingdom and the EU countries as well as third countries such as the United States, " wrote Ms Hall Hall in the Texas National Security Review journal.

"But, most damagingly, the talking points also downplayed the consequences of Brexit for the delicate peace process in Northern Ireland, in which the United States was a core stakeholder, having helped to broker the [Belfast] Agreement and supported it since then," she wrote.

Ms Hall Hall wrote that one colleague at the UK embassy in Washington working on Northern Ireland was "nearly in tears" as he "could not get his minister to register the enormous damage that would be done to the fabric of Northern Ireland, politically and economically, if the United Kingdom left the European Union without a deal".

"A low point for me was when I heard a senior British minister openly and offensively, in front of a US audience, dismiss the impact of a no-deal Brexit on Irish businesses as just affecting `a few farmers with turnips in the back of their trucks,' " she wrote.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Oct 27th, 2021 at 10:17:26 PM EST

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