19:31 GMT30 September 2020
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    Life After Brexit: What's Next After UK Leaves EU (43)
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    Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden waded into the row over Britain’s new Internal Market Bill that presupposes a reworking of some aspects of the original Brexit deal struck with the EU, warning UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson against jeopardising an upcoming trade deal between London and Washington by pushing ahead with the plans.

    Former Tory Party leader Iain Duncan Smith has admonished Joe Biden for “lecturing” Britain over a bill that would rewrite parts of the EU withdrawal agreement, writes The Times.

    “We don’t need lectures on the Northern Ireland peace deal from Mr. Biden. If I were him I would worry more about the need for a peace deal in the USA to stop the killing and rioting before lecturing other sovereign nations,” the outlet cited Duncan Smith as saying.

    The US Democratic presidential candidate had triggered anger among Conservative Brexiteers after he chided Prime Minister Boris Johnson for venturing to tear up parts of the original Brexit deal signed with Brussels that relate to Northern Ireland.

    Former Brexit secretary David Davis suggested that Biden “talk to the EU”, as he underscored that the only threat of an invisible border in Ireland would be if Brussels “insisted on levying tariffs”.

    Connor Burns, another Tory MP, also tweeted some reciprocal advice for Joe Biden.

    ​American-born British Conservative Party politician Joy Morrissey suggested that the whole issue centred around the “Irish American vote” in the looming US November elections.

    Shadow foreign secretary Lisa Nandy believed that Biden’s intervention laid bare “the scale of the damage the government have done to Britain’s standing in the world”.

    ​'Casualty of Brexit'

    Joe Biden had warned on 16 September that Washington would only agree to a trade deal with Britain if the latter respected the Good Friday Agreement.

    Biden had tweeted that the US would not allow the Good Friday Agreement “to become a casualty of Brexit”.

    ​The former vice-president accompanied his post with a public letter from a group of American lawmakers, three Democrats and one Republican, who earlier called on Johnson to “abandon any and all legally questionable and unfair efforts to flout the Northern Ireland protocol of the Withdrawal Agreement”.

    The intervention came as Prime Minister Boris Johnson was earlier warned by a bipartisan group of American lawmakers that the US Congress would quash an upcoming trade deal between London and Washington if Britain’s new Internal Market Bill undermined the Good Friday Agreement, in reference to the peace deal that brought the Northern Irish conflict to an end in 1998.

    In this file photo taken on April 09, 2020 Irish Police (Garda) stop and check vechicles at the border crossing at Carrkcarnon, County Louth, Ireland, on April 9, 2020 under new powers to curb non-essential travel during the coronavirus crisis.
    © AFP 2020 / PAUL FAITH
    In this file photo taken on April 09, 2020 Irish Police (Garda) stop and check vechicles at the border crossing at Carrkcarnon, County Louth, Ireland, on April 9, 2020 under new powers to curb non-essential travel during the coronavirus crisis.

    Biden’s statement also echoed earlier words by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who emphasized that there was “absolutely no chance” for the UK-US trade deal if London failed to preserve the Good Friday Agreement as a "beacon of hope for peace-loving people throughout the whole world".

    UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab’s visit to Washington seeking to reassure US politicians about the latest Brexit developments had failed to make much of an impact on the American side.

    The Northern Ireland protocol is an intrinsic part of Brexit agreement that was negotiated with Brussels by Boris Johnson last October, and was designed to prevent the re-establishment of a hard border between the UK’s Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, a member of the EU, following the UK’s departure from the bloc in 2020.

    Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson puts on a mask at the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service HQ during his visit to Belfast, Northern Ireland August 13, 2020
    © REUTERS / POOL
    Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson puts on a mask at the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service HQ during his visit to Belfast, Northern Ireland August 13, 2020

    However, critics argue this piece of legislation is at risk if the Internal Market Bill, which recently passed through the House of Commons with a 77-legislator majority, is enacted.

    The US and UK entered trade negotiations after Britain left the European Union on 31 January 2020, with the potential deal hailed as a tremendous one by Donald Trump. Yet the negotiations have faltered, bogged down in a mire of disagreements over food safety standards the UK was not prepared to walk away from.

    Topic:
    Life After Brexit: What's Next After UK Leaves EU (43)

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    Tags:
    Good Friday Agreement, Northern Ireland, Northern Ireland, Iain Duncan Smith, Boris Johnson, Joe Biden, Brexit, Brexit
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