‘Destruction of the Good Friday accords’ would prevent US-UK post-Brexit trade deal, US House speaker warns

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House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi has warned, after a meeting with Prime Minister Boris Johnson, that a US-UK post-Brexit trade deal would be “very unlikely” if “there is a destruction of the Good Friday accords.”

The statement from the senior Democrat marks the latest caution from the US over Johnson’s post-Brexit negotiations with the European Union, as talks continue between the UK and the European bloc over the Northern Ireland protocol.

“If there is destruction of the Good Friday accords, they [are] very unlikely to have a UK-US bilateral,” Pelosi stated at an event at London’s Chatham House on Friday.

Pelosi voiced her concerns about Johnson’s actions around the Good Friday agreement directly to the UK prime minister during a visit to Downing Street on Thursday, with a spokesperson for the UK leader stating that the two had “agreed on the importance of preserving peace in Northern Ireland.”

The UK government has expressed its desire to renegotiate the Northern Ireland protocol, which, post-Brexit, left the region cut off from the rest of the UK after a customs border was established in the Irish Sea to prevent a hard border being set up between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

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President Joe Biden has previously recommitted the US to the Good Friday Agreement during a meeting with Irish prime minister Micheal Martin, having warned Johnson against any action that would jeopardise the peace process in the region. 

American National Security Advisor Jake Sulivan told British media earlier this year that it’s “critical” to protect the Good Friday Agreement during Brexit negotiations, calling on the UK and EU to work together to iron out the specifics. 

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