UK Isolated Over Northern Ireland Protocol as US-EU Alliance Rules Out Renegotiation

A new US-EU alliance has ruled out renegotiation, highlighting the UK’s isolation over its ambitions to rip up the Northern Ireland protocol.

Following a meeting in Paris, a team of US legislators led by a close associate of Joe Biden agreed on a joint statement with members of the European parliament.

It urges Boris Johnson to scrap legislation that would overrule the international agreement, claiming that the protocol “protects the Good Friday Agreement in all of its parts.”

In a press release following the interparliamentary meeting, congressman Brendan Boyle announced that a statement had been agreed upon, part of which reads: “We agree that renegotiating the protocol is not an option.”

This latest development came just hours after Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, who hosted the US team at her country retreat of Chevening on Saturday, defied demands to back down.

In stark contrast, she is understood to have insisted that the UK is “defending the Good Friday Agreement” – not endangering it – and warned that she would not let the “situation drag on”.

The crisis threatens to provoke a hugely damaging trade war if the EU carries out its threat to retaliate for what it considers to be a breach of the deal the prime minister signed and hailed as “fantastic” in 2019.

Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi has also warned that unilaterally altering the protocol will kill any remaining prospects the UK has for a free trade agreement with the US.

The United Kingdom claims that the law is required to eliminate commercial barriers in the Irish Sea and encourage the Democratic Unionist Party to abandon its efforts to prevent the creation of a new power-sharing executive at Stormont.

It goes far beyond customs controls, however, as it contains measures aimed at restoring the UK’s authority over VAT rates, as well as the function of the European Court of Justice in supervising disputes.

The EU claims to have proposed measures to lessen the load of checks, citing the UK’s refusal to join up to common veterinary norms, which would eliminate much of the red tape.

Last Monday, the prime minister revealed that he had agreed to the Northern Ireland protocol’s trade barriers in the hopes that the EU would not “apply” them.

The draught law has not yet been revealed, but it is likely to be released in the coming weeks, with a vote in the Commons as soon as next month.

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