Northern Ireland Protocol threatens peace agreement says expert
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Boris Johnson will meet with US President Joe Biden this week at the White House as he jets to the States for the UN General Assembly meeting. The British Prime Minister will try to bolster US ties with the UK in the wake of this week’s surprise AUKUS trilateral defence pact between the two countries and Australia. It is hoped that the pact, which could create hundreds of new jobs, will help mend the rift between the UK and US over the Northern Ireland border amid stalled talks for a trade deal.
This comes after a warning shot from House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi over the Brexit protocol standoff.
Ms Pelosi, who is visiting the UK this weekend, said that there will be no trade deal between the UK and US if Brexit tensions between Britain and the EU damage peace in Northern Ireland.
However, former US Ambassador Sir Christopher Mayer has noted that a “hard, practical and pragmatic discussion” between President Biden and Prime Minister Johnson may see the US back the UK’s claims on Northern Ireland.
The push to smooth over the rift over Brexit comes as London tries to seal a trade deal with the US.
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Speaking to LBC, Sir Christopher said: “Will the Americans help us as chairmen reach a positive outcome at the environmental summit, the COP26, in Glasgow in November?
“And can Biden please tell Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representative on Capitol Hill, that the threat from the Northern Ireland peace agreement does not come from us?
“The threat comes from the ill-working of the Northern Ireland protocol.
“It has inflamed the Protestants in Northern Ireland, and which is contrary to the spirit of the Good Friday agreement.”
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The former British diplomat continued: “It is a really heavy agenda. Boris and Biden don’t have to be bosom buddies.
“This can be a hard, practical, and pragmatic discussion between two realists in geopolitics, and that will be fine.
Sir Christopher earlier told LBC’s Andrew Pierce that France had been left “utterly humiliated” by the AUKUS alliance.
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Ms Pelosi told British officials this week that a transatlantic trade deal was “very unlikely” if the Good Friday Agreement is harmed.
She warned that a breakdown in talks over the Northern Ireland protocol would prove “problematic” for the post-Brexit trade deal.
However, she added: “I’m so glad that more time has been given for the negotiations and the discussion because they have to reach an agreement.”
She met Mr Johnson in Downing Street, just days before the Prime Minister is set to meet President Biden in the White House.
During the meeting, Mr Johnson is expected to push Mr Biden on the crisis in Afghanistan and the potential of reopening UK to US travel.
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