Members of the US Congress have written to the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson calling on the British government to reaffirm its commitment to the Stormont House Agreement and reverse a proposed amnesty to address the legacy issues of the Troubles.

Under the plan, the British government would create a proposed statute of limitations which would end all prosecutions for incidents up to April 1998 and would apply to military veterans as well as ex-paramilitaries.

The proposals, which the UK Prime Minister said would allow Northern Ireland to "draw a line under the Troubles", would also end all legacy inquests and civil actions related to the conflict.

In their letter to Mr Johnson, members of the US Congress expressed their disappointment over the plans.

"We are concerned that these proposed legacy laws would strain the British-Irish relationship and cement widespread feelings that justice is again being denied," the letter states.

The letter, which was led by Congressmen Brendan Boyle and Brian Fitzpatrick, was signed by 36 members of the US Congress from both political parties.

"It is deeply disturbing to learn that the British Parliament is planning on reneging on its commitment to the Stormont House Agreement," Congressman Boyle said.

"Such a move would not only prevent a pathway to justice for the bereaved of the conflict but would also strip families of their legal rights protected under European Law and the Good Friday Agreement. To this day, nearly 1,700 conflict-related cases still await investigation," he added.

Pelosi backs Good Friday Agreement in Johnson meeting

Meanwhile, the Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi has voiced her support for the Good Friday Agreement in a meeting with Mr Johnson.

Following talks with Mr Johnson in London, Speaker Pelosi issued a statement saying that she had reiterated the strong support that the Good Friday Agreement continues to have in the US.

"Respectful of the will of the British people and Brexit, I reiterated the strong bipartisan support that the Good Friday Accords continue to enjoy in the United States Congress and our hope that the ongoing negotiations will yield a positive outcome that recognises this landmark agreement," she said.

The US Speaker has warned in the past there will be no US-UK trade deal if Brexit threatens the Northern Ireland peace process or leads to the return of a hard border.

A Downing Street spokesperson said Mr Johnson had raised the issue of the Northern Ireland Protocol during his meeting with Ms Pelosi.

"He outlined the UK's concerns with the way the Protocol is being implemented and the impact it is having on the people of Northern Ireland. The Prime Minister and Speaker Pelosi both agreed on the importance of preserving peace in Northern Ireland," the spokesperson said.

Boris Johnson and Nancy Pelosi met at Downing Street

Ms Pelosi said her meeting with Mr Johnson was an opportunity to celebrate the special relationship between the US and the UK.

"In our meeting, Prime Minister Johnson and I discussed shared priorities including combating the climate crisis and tackling the coronavirus pandemic," she said.

"In the interest of global security, I commended the Prime Minister on his leadership in working with President Biden and Australian Prime Minister Morrison on the recently announced trilateral 'AUKUS' security partnership."

Ms Pelosi said she had invited Mr Johnson to a bipartisan leadership meeting in the US Capitol when he travels to Washington later this month.

Meanwhile, Mr Johnson has appointed Conor Burns as minister of state in the Northern Ireland Office.

Mr Burns, who was born in Belfast, resigned from government in May 2020 after an investigation found he threatened a company chairman over a financial dispute with his father.

He was suspended from parliament for seven days following an investigation into his conduct.

Additional reporting PA