The Northern Ireland Protocol was incorporated into the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement to help avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland. But it means Northern Ireland remains in the EU single market resulting in regulatory checks being undertaken on select goods coming in from Britain.
Now US senators on Capitol Hill have insisted the protocol protects the Good Friday Agreement, agreed in 1998, to ensure peace and prosperity in Northern Ireland after the Troubles.
Democrat Brendan Boyle claimed the UK must “live up” to the agreement.
Mr Boyle, whose view is backed by senior Democrats in Washington, added: “The UK, and specifically this British government, negotiated the Northern Ireland Protocol, signed the deal, then campaigned and passed the deal through its parliament, so it is clear that the British government, like all sides, needs to live up to that which it negotiated and agreed to”.
The Senior Democrat, who is highly influential on EU foreign policy in Washington made clear it would be “completely unacceptable for the UK or any party to the agreement to renege on it”.
He continued: “The only way forward is through the NI Protocol to mitigate the damage that has been caused by Brexit and the hard Brexit that this British government opted for.”
“The US has not been shy about calling this out publicly and we will continue to do so.”
Democrats led by Senator Bob Menendez, chairman of the influential Senate Foreign Relations Committee have also made clear if the UK refuses to respect the Northern Ireland Protocol, then it could affect the chances of a US trade deal being agreed.
He added: “The Senate urges the United Kingdom and the European Union to support peace on the island of Ireland and the principles, objectives, and commitments of the Good Friday Agreement.
“We will take into account, as relevant, conditions requiring that obligations under the Good Friday Agreement be met as the United States seeks to negotiate a mutually advantageous and comprehensive trade agreement between the United States and the United Kingdom.”
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