21:07 GMT09 July 2020
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    In late July, US officials warned that future trade deals between the UK and US are at risk of being blocked by US Congress if a no-deal Brexit jeopardises the Good Friday agreement.

    Any trade deal between the United States and the UK will fail in Congress if Britain's withdrawal from the EU imperils the Good Friday agreement between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Wednesday.

    "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", Pelosi said in a statement.

    In July, Pelosi told Julian Smith, UK secretary for Northern Ireland, in a letter that there was “no chance whatsoever” of Congress passing a US and UK trade agreement.

    The Good Friday agreement, signed on Apil 10, 1998 by governments of the UK and Ireland, concluded a 30-year conflict in Northern Ireland between the pro-Irish republicans and the pro-British loyalists which was known as 'The Troubles'.

    The possibility of a UK breakaway from the bloc and subsequent establishment of a hard border sparked concerns of upending the political balance in Northern Ireland and undermining the Belfast Accord.

    Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar previously noted that a hard Brexit could undermine the unity of Great Britain and pull Scotland and Northern Ireland away from London.

    The House Speaker's latest statement comes as UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that securing a trade deal with the United States would be a "tough old haggle" but the UK could get there.

    Mr Johnson has repeatedly stressed that the UK would leave the EU with or without a trade deal on 31 October.


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    Good Friday Agreement, trade deal, US, UK
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