Brexit row: Pelosi says US will REFUSE US-UK trade deal after Boris’ bill – ‘NO CHANCE’
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Boris Johnson has urged MPs to support a bill to modify the Brexit deal he signed which would break international law. Ms Pelosi said the UK must “respect” the agreement it signed with the EU. She insisted that a US-UK agreement would not pass through Congress if Britain undermines the Belfast Agreement.
In a statement to The Irish Times, Ms Pelosi said the UK must “respect the Northern Ireland Protocol as signed with the EU to ensure the free flow of goods across the Border.”
She added: “The Good Friday Agreement is the bedrock of peace in Northern Ireland and an inspiration for the whole world.
“Whatever form it takes, Brexit cannot be allowed to imperil the Good Friday Agreement, including the stability brought by the invisible and frictionless border between the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland.”
Ms Pelosi’s comments may put pressure on Mr Johnson over his decision to step back on parts of the withdrawal agreement he signed with the EU last year.
On Wednesday, Taoiseach Micheál Martin spoke to Mr Johnson over the phone to express his concern about the Prime Minister’s actions.
A Government spokesman said: “Micheal Martin spoke to PM Johnson and set out in forthright terms his concerns about latest developments in London on Brexit, including the breach of an international treaty, the absence of bilateral engagement and the serious implications for Northern Ireland.
“He stressed to the prime minister that the UK government should re-engage with EU negotiators urgently.”
Mr Johnson said his Internal Markets Bill would “ensure the integrity of the UK internal market” and give power to Wales and Scotland.
But a minister admitted the bill would break international law.
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “The Tories’ proposed bill for a so-called UK internal market is an abomination.
“It is a naked power grab which would cripple devolution.”
Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove is set to hold emergency talks with EU Commissioner Maros Sefcovic in London on Thursday.
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It comes after the European Commission insisted on having a meeting as soon as possible to clarify the contents of the bill and what it means for the Brexit deal.
On Thursday, the latest round of negotiations on a post-Brexit trade deal are also set to wrap up.
The European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said she was “very concerned” about the bill.
She tweeted: “Very concerned about announcements from the British government on its intentions to breach the Withdrawal Agreement.
“This would break international law and undermines trust.”
A spokesman for the Prime Minister said the withdrawal agreement had been signed “at pace in the most challenging possible political circumstances” in order to “deliver on a decision by the British people”.
He added that it had been signed “on the assumption that subsequent agreements to clarify these aspects could be reached.”
The new bill proposes there be no new checks on goods moving from Northern Ireland to Britain.
It would also give ministers the powers to modify rules relating to the movement of goods if the UK and EU cannot reach an agreement before the end of the year.
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