A US-UK trade deal will not get a pass in the Congress if Brexit undermines the Good Friday Agreement, the Speaker of the US House of Representatives said wednesday.
Democrat Nancy Pelosi, whose party controls the House, said the UK’s exit from the EU could not be allowed to endanger the Irish peace deal.
Her comments came after the US national security adviser said the UK would be “first in line” for a trade deal. John Bolton spoke after meeting Prime Minister Boris Johnson in London.
The reimposition of frontier controls between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland if the UK leaves the EU without mutual agreement on 31 October – a so-called “hard Brexit” – is seen as a threat to the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, which ended decades of bloodshed in Northern Ireland.
“Whatever form it takes, Brexit cannot be allowed to imperil the Good Friday Agreement, including the seamless border between the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland,” Ms Pelosi said in a statement on Wednesday.
Mr Bolton said on Tuesday that the Trump administration supported a no-deal Brexit, and added Washington would propose an accelerated series of trade deals in the event of one.
He said these could be done on a “sector-by-sector” basis, with an agreement on manufacturing made first. A trade deal for financial services and agriculture would not be the first to be agreed, he added.
However, critics warn that the UK will have to give in to some US demands in return for any trade agreement.