Secretary of State Dominic RAB is in Washington where he is expected to try to reassure U.S. politicians about the latest Brexit turn.
Some U.S. politicians are concerned about the UK government’s plans to go beyond part of the Brexit divorce agreement.
Mr Robb will meet with US Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who said last week that UK-US trade would not take place if the Northern Ireland peace agreement was violated.
None of the 10 said that the peace agreement would remain in force in all circumstances.
Mr Robb will meet with top politicians, including his U.S. counterpart Mike Pompeo and Democratic Congresswoman MS Pelosi, who is speaker of the House of Representatives.
Threats to the UK-US trade agreement
There are higher expectations on the Brexit agenda at the Washington meeting.
Earlier this week, a proposed law that would give the UK government the power to override part of the Brexit withdrawal agreement – which Prime Minister Boris Johnson agreed with the EU last October – cleared its first hurdle.
It has passed the first stage in the House of Commons but is now facing further investigation and needs to be passed by the House of Lords.
If the law goes into effect, it would violate international law – a possibility that will provoke outrage from senior individuals in the United States last week.
- What just happened to Brexit?
Ms Pelosi said that if the UK violated international law and the Brexit Good Friday Agreement – the NI Peace Accord – Congress could not pass the “US-UK Trade Agreement” at all.
Then on Tuesday, four senior congressmen issued similar warnings, saying the UK-US trade deal would be blocked if the UK failed to preserve the benefits of the deal on Good Friday.
In a letter to Mr Johnson, four congressmen said plans to change part of the Brexit agreement with Northern Ireland (known as the Northern Ireland Protocol) could have “catastrophic consequences for Friday’s agreement and the broader peace process on the island of Ireland”.
“We therefore urge you to reject any and legally questionable and unjust attempts to blow up Northern Ireland’s protocol to the withdrawal agreement and to ensure that decades of progress to bring peace back to Northern Ireland are not hampered by brazen negotiations.”
No 10 people responded to the letter, saying the Good Friday agreement was “valid in all circumstances and does not result in the inadvertent inadvertent defamation that could jeopardize the huge benefits of the peace process.”
“We are absolutely committed to a strict border and border infrastructure between the Republic of Ireland and N. Ireland. It’s about a legal protection net and not imposing a sudden East-West check that is in direct opposition to the Belfast (Good Friday) agreement.”
A spokesman for Number Ten added: “Our positions are understood and we will engage with our U.S. partners on a bilateral basis to ensure that we agree to a trade agreement with extensive support from the United States.”
In his talks on Wednesday, Mr Robb hoped that the government’s plans would be cautious and proportionate – and that ministers had responded to what he described as a threat to the EU to curb food imports.
Amid the ongoing transatlantic tensions over Iran, Mr. Robb will meet with Mr. Pompeo.
The U.S. secretary of state recently accused the United Kingdom and its European allies of being “on the side of the ayatollah” to impose further UN sanctions on Iran.
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