Sunday, October 18, 2020
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Biden warns US-UK trade deal will not happen if Belfast Agreement undermined

Biden warns US-UK trade deal will not happen if Belfast Agreement undermined
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US presidential candidate Joe Biden has warned that a trade deal between the United States and Britain will not happen if the Belfast Agreement is undermined, in the latest intervention by the former vice-president on the issue of Ireland and Brexit.

A memo published by his campaign over the weekend outlined the Democratic candidate’s view on Ireland and Irish-America. It said if elected, Mr Biden would “support active US engagement to advance the Northern Ireland peace process” and ensure there was “no US-UK trade deal if the implementation of Brexit imperils the Good Friday agreement”.

It is the latest statement by Mr Biden on the contentious issue of Brexit and its impact on Northern Ireland. Last month he warned that a trade deal between Washington and London – a key priority of Brexit advocates in the run-up to the 2016 referendum on leaving the EU – would not happen if the Belfast Agreement was undermined.

“We can’t allow the Good Friday agreement that brought peace to Northern Ireland to become a casualty of Brexit. Any trade deal between the US and UK must be contingent upon respect for the Agreement and preventing the return of a hard border. Period,” he said at the time.

That followed a strong warning by House of Representatives speaker Nancy Pelosi and its ways and means committee chairman Richard Neal warning that Congress wouldnot endorse a trade deal if peace in Northern Ireland was jeopardised.



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