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Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi has warned that unilateral UK legislation affecting the Northern Ireland Protocol could jeopardize Britain’s prospects for a free trade deal with the United States. United.

Pelosi’s blunt intervention came two days after British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss confirmed that the government planned to table legislation that would override parts of the protocol by exempting certain goods moving between Britain and Ireland from EU customs controls.

Pelosi has made it clear that she sees the protocol as essential to upholding the 1998 Good Friday Peace Agreement which minimized border controls between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

The Northern Ireland Protocol is the result of negotiations with the EU on how to maintain the frictionless border between Ireland and how to maintain EU customs borders after Brexit.

“As I have stated in my conversations with the Prime Minister, Foreign Secretary and Members of the House of Commons, if the UK chooses to undermine the Good Friday Agreements, Congress cannot and will not support a bilateral free trade agreement with the UK,” the president said in a written statement. The EU has previously warned of a potential trade war if the UK goes ahead with its legislation.

“It is deeply concerning that the UK is now seeking to unilaterally reject the Northern Ireland Protocol, which preserves the important progress and stability forged by the agreements. It continues to enjoy strong bipartisan and bicameral support in Congress of the United States,” Pelosi added.

The warning follows a visit to Washington by the Prime Minister’s new special envoy for Northern Ireland protocol to the United States, Conor Burns, to explain the British position to the Biden administration and to Congress, which is to blame the EU for its inflexibility.

US officials, however, were angered that Burns, having stressed his close personal relationship with Boris Johnson, did not warn them that Johnson was about to travel to Northern Ireland. Burns assured them that no decision had been made on whether to pursue new legislation, days before Truss made his announcement.

“Respecting the will of the British people and Brexit, I call for constructive, collaborative and good faith negotiations to deliver a deal that keeps the peace,” Pelosi wrote on Thursday evening. “The children of Northern Ireland, who have never experienced the bloody conflict and do not want to return to it, deserve a future without violence where all can reach their fulfilment.”

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