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Brexit: Four lawmakers ask Boris Johnson to abandon Brexit plans

  • Boris Johnson is under growing pressure from the United States to drop its Brexit plans.
  • The British government has announced that it intends to give itself the power to break the agreement it signed with the EU last year.
  • Last week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said there was “absolutely no chance” of a British-US free trade agreement if the British Prime Minister continued the plan that has upset Brussels and MPs in London.
  • Now, four senior members of Congress have urged Johnson to lay out the plan in a letter to the prime minister.
  • It says they were “disturbed”
    ; by the plan and its risk to peace and warned that it risked the peace process in Northern Ireland.
  • It was signed by House committee chairmen Eliot Engel, Richard Neal and William Keating plus senior Republican congressman Peter King.
  • Visit the Business Insider website for more stories.

Four senior members of Congress have written to Boris Johnson warning him that there will be no post-US free trade agreement between Britain and Britain if he does not abandon his plan to rewrite his Brexit agreement with the EU.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi last week told the British Prime Minister that there would be “absolutely no chance” of a post-Brexit trade deal if he continued his controversial plan.

Now, members of Congress, including three committee chairmen and a prominent Republican, reiterated the warning in a letter to Johnson, saying they were “disturbed” by his government’s decision to break international law.

On Tuesday, Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal, European Affairs Subcommittee William Keating, and Republican Congressman Peter King wrote to Johnson urging him to abandon his plan or risk torpedoing the prospect of a post. -Brexit free trade agreement with the United States.

In a letter to the British Prime Minister, they said they were “seriously concerned about recent reports that you may be working on legislation or other efforts that would like to invalidate or override the Northern Ireland Protocol from last year’s withdrawal agreement between the European Union and the United Kingdom. “

The quartet said the United States played a key role in brokering in Northern Ireland, and “that’s why we were so disturbed by reports of your government’s efforts to undermine Northern Ireland’s protocol to the withdrawal agreement that, if true, could have catastrophic consequences for The Good Friday Agreement and the broader process of maintaining peace on the island of Ireland. “

They reiterated Pelosi’s warnings and told Prime Minister Johnson “many in the US Congress consider the issue of the Good Friday Agreement and the potential free trade agreement between the US and the UK to be inextricably linked” and “if these reported plans were to go ahead, it would be difficult to see how these conditions [for Congress to approve a trade deal] could be met. “

They added: “We therefore urge you to abandon any legally dubious and unfair effort to reject Northern Ireland’s protocol on the withdrawal agreement and look to ensure that Brexit negotiations undermine decades of progress in bringing peace to Northern Ireland and future opportunities for bilateral relations. between our two countries. “

In an interview last week, Congressman Neal Johnson’s plan to rewrite elements of the Northern Ireland Protocol was “a violation of the good faith we all initiated in negotiations leading to this remarkable achievement called the Good Friday Agreement.”

Johnson’s British government has caused unrest in Britain, Brussels and Washington after unveiling an explosive plan to unilaterally determine elements of Northern Ireland’s trade with Britain from January next year.

Details on how the Northern Ireland Protocol agreed as part of the Brexit withdrawal negotiations last year will work in practice are being negotiated by UK and EU officials. Brandon Lewis, Britain’s Foreign Secretary in Northern Ireland, admitted last week that Britain’s plan to unilaterally implement its own reading of the protocol would violate international law.

Several members of parliament for Johnson’s Conservative party, including former British Prime Minister Theresa May, publicly criticized the movement, and dozens are expected to vote against it next week if he does not change course. Jonathan Jones stepped down as head of the British government’s legal department last week in protest of the plan.

The Northern Ireland protocol in the Brexit withdrawal agreement says the province will continue to follow EU trade rules to avoid a controversial hard border with the Republic of Ireland.

However, Johnson’s UK Government intends to use two laws – the International Market Bill and the Finance Bill – to effectively reject parts of the Northern Ireland Protocol. The EU reacted angrily last week, warning Britain it would consider suing if it did not scrap the plan by the end of the month.

Downing Street is in talks with Conservative members of the British Parliament this week on a potential compromise to prevent a backbench uprising when the House of Commons votes on the legislation next week.

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