Pelosi says UK can forget US trade deal if Irish pact is broken by Bloomberg

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(Bloomberg) – Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said the UK could forget about Congress approval of a free trade deal with the United States if Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union was jeopardizing an agreement ending the conflict in Northern Ireland.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson faces backlash from the EU and his own ruling Tory party after his government announced it was considering breaking its commitments to the bloc across the border Irish. Pelosi said the UK must ensure the free flow of goods across the border, as agreed in Britain’s deal with the EU last year.

Last year’s deal gave Northern Ireland the same trade rules as the EU to avoid customs checks at the land border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, a key part of the Good Friday deal that ended years of bloodshed. A UK bill released on Wednesday would allow ministers to override parts of the deal.

“If the UK violates this international treaty and Brexit undermines the Good Friday deal, there will be absolutely no chance that a trade deal between the US and UK will be passed by Congress “Pelosi, the country’s main elected Democrat, said on Wednesday.

In the United States, while the power to negotiate trade deals is delegated to the president by Congress, the deals then have to go through both houses. Pelosi effectively controls the agenda in the lower house, where his party holds the majority, and used his influence last year to delay a new North American free trade deal to extract changes from Mexico. US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and his UK counterpart began negotiations for a trade deal in June.

The EU considers it has grounds for legal action against the UK over the plan, according to a document seen by Bloomberg. According to the EU’s preliminary analysis of the internal market, EU judges may have a case to seek legal remedies under the divorce agreement even before the UK’s internal market bill. be passed by Parliament and would have a clear rationale once the bill becomes law, according to the preliminary analysis of EU UK legislation.

© 2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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