Brexit Britain has received yet another trade threat, with Washington warning that unilateral action on the Northern Ireland Protocol would not be “conducive” to agreements between the UK and the US.
The regime of Joe Biden has placed a strain on Boris Johnson not to arbitrarily axe elements of Ulster’s post-Brexit provisions. Last month, Liz Truss, who took over as the UK’s Brexit negotiator from Lord David Frost in December, unveiled plans to use domestic law to supersede aspects of the Northern Ireland Protocol.
According to the Government website, the Protocol Bill “ensures the delicate balance of the Belfast Agreement”, “introduces durable solutions to fix the four key issues with the Protocol” and “remove[s] unnecessary costs and paperwork for businesses”.
However, Washington has issued a new warning for Brexit Britain.
“It’s fair to say that the administration has concerns about the legislation,” said a senior administration official. “The administration does not believe that unilateral steps are going to be the most effective way to address the challenges facing the implementation of the Protocol, and that our strong desire remains to see the UK and the EU return to talks and find a negotiated agreement.”
The White House also responded to comments made by a spokesperson last week who claimed there was no connection between the UK’s response to the Northern Ireland Protocol and negotiations with America.
“It is true that there is no formal linkage between the Protocol and a free trade agreement,” the insider claimed, “but the current situation does not create a conducive environment.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has previously threatened the United Kingdom.
She even claimed last month that Congress would not support a UK-US trade deal if the government dropped the Northern Ireland Protocol.
Northern Ireland Minister Conor Burns visited Washington last week in an attempt to persuade White House officials that the Protocol’s concerns about violence in Ulster remain.
During his visit, the Eurosceptic Bournemouth West MP stated, “We’re bringing forward primary legislation to try and resolve the Protocol’s challenges.”
“Essentially, to make good on our promise to the people of Northern Ireland that they would be integral within the UK’s internal market, whilst at the same time protecting the EU’s legitimate ambition to protect their Single Market.”
Mr Burns added: “We’re very clear, however, that we still would like to resolve this in a negotiated way with the EU.