(Bloomberg) – Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has said that a UK – US trade deal hinges on continued respect for the Northern Ireland peace process, a warning to Boris Johnson as he is about to break international law on Brexit and the province.
“We cannot allow the Good Friday deal that brought peace to Northern Ireland to become a victim of Brexit,” Biden said on Twitter. “Any trade agreement between the United States and the United Kingdom must be conditional on compliance with the Agreement and preventing the return of a hard border. Period.”
Biden’s intervention shows how Johnson’s proposal to unilaterally rescind the Brexit divorce treaty signed with the EU has international implications and makes a transatlantic free trade deal more politically sensitive. Biden shared a heavily worded letter signed by four senior members of Congress, which urged Johnson to “drop all legally questionable and unfair efforts” to violate his deal with the EU.
“The United States Congress will not support any free trade agreement between the United States and the United Kingdom if the United Kingdom fails to preserve the achievements of the Good Friday agreement and the peace process more large, ”the letter indicates. “If these announced plans were to go ahead, it would be difficult to see how these conditions could be met.”
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Nonetheless, during a press conference with British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab on Wednesday in Washington, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said trade talks with the UK were progressing well. He also said he supports the UK as a trusted partner, despite the row over Johnson’s plan to tear up the Brexit deal.
“I have no doubts that they will succeed,” said Pompeo. “We know the complexity of the situation.”
The UK government has not set a specific timeline to secure a free trade deal with the United States, which has been touted as a key post-Brexit price. The United States is already the main destination for British exports outside the EU, and trade between the two countries amounted to $ 270 billion in 2019. A free trade agreement with the United States is expected increase UK GDP by 0.16% in the long run, according to a UK government estimate released in March.
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