Nancy Pelosi warns UK-US trade deal 'unlikely' if Northern Ireland peace destroyed

Boris Johnson has been warned there will be no post-Brexit trade deal with the US if peace is threatened in Northern Ireland.

Nancy Pelosi, US House of Representatives Speaker, said the coveted US-UK trade agreement would “very unlikely” if the Good Friday Agreement was undermined by Brexit disagreements between the UK and Brussels.

“If there is destruction of the Good Friday accords, they [are] very unlikely to have a UK-U.S. bilateral,” she told a Chatham House event.

The US has openly expressed alarm over the fate of the peace deal following ongoing tensions between the UK and Brussels over post-Brexit trade.

Violence flared in Belfast earlier this year after tensions were exacerbated by changes to trade arrangements after the UK severed ties with the EU in January.

© PA A fire on the Shankill Road in Belfast during further unrest.

Video: Dominic Raab demoted from foreign secretary post during cabinet reshuffle (The Independent)

Mr Johnson’s Brexit deal effectively created a border down the Irish Sea, as goods passing between Great Britain and Northern Ireland must be subject to checks.

Part of the deal, known as the Northern Ireland Protocol, keeps Northern Ireland in the EU’s single market for goods, which the rest of the UK left on January 31.

The aim was to prevent a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, which remains in the EU, in order to protect the hard-won peace.

The PM’s Brexit chief Lord Frost has demanded the EU comes to the table to renegotiate the protocol, which he has branded unsustainable.

Ms Pelosi raised the issue with Boris Johnson when the pair held talks in Downing Street on Thursday.

Downing Street the PM had “outlined the UK’s concerns” with the way the Brexit trade deal with the EU is being implemented.

After the meeting, Ms Pelosi said: “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.”

US President Joe Biden, who is proud of his Irish ancestry, is taking a keen interest in the situation in Northern Ireland, along with other senior Democrats.

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