17 September, 2020
US Democratic presidential candidate, Joe Biden, warned Britain to honour the Northern Irish peace deal or face no US trade agreement with Britain.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson unveiled legislation that would break parts of the Brexit divorce treaty with the European Union relating to Northern Ireland. The Prime Minister blamed the EU for putting a revolver on the table in trade talks and trying to divide up the United Kingdom. He told The Sun newspaper that Brussels was being “abusive” to Britain and risking four decades of partnership.
“We can’t allow the Good Friday Agreement that brought peace to Northern Ireland to become a casualty of Brexit,” “Any trade deal between the US and the UK must be contingent upon respect for the Agreement and prevent the return of a hard border. Period.” Biden tweeted.
Also in a retweet of a letter by Biden, from Eliot Engel, chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the US House of Representatives, to Johnson calling on the British PM to honour the 1998 Good Friday peace deal. Engel urged Johnson to “abandon any and all legally questionable and unfair efforts to flout the Northern Ireland protocol of the Withdrawal Agreement.”
Brexit talks should not “undermine the decades of progress to bring peace to Northern Ireland,” Engel said, adding that Congress would not support a US-UK free trade agreement if Britain failed to uphold its commitments to Northern Ireland.
According to the British junior Health Minister, Edward Argar, he did not believe the Northern Irish peace deal was at risk when asked about Biden’s criticism.
The EU has already warned any breach of the Brexit treaty could sink trade talks.