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UPDATE 1-Biden warns UK on Brexit: No trade deal unless you respect N.Irish peace deal

Thu, 17th Sep 2020 07:44

(Adds details of warning from U.S. lawmakers)

LONDON, Sept 17 (Reuters) - U.S. Democratic presidential
candidate Joe Biden has warned the United Kingdom that it must
honour the Northern Irish peace deal as it extracts itself from
the European Union or there will be no U.S. trade deal.

"We can’t allow the Good Friday Agreement that brought peace
to Northern Ireland to become a casualty of Brexit," Biden said
in a tweet.

"Any trade deal between the U.S. and U.K. must be contingent
upon respect for the Agreement and preventing the return of a
hard border. Period."

Prime Minister Boris Johnson unveiled legislation last week
that would break parts of the Brexit divorce treaty relating to
Northern Ireland, blaming the EU for putting a revolver on the
table in trade talks and trying to divide the United Kingdom.

Biden retweeted a letter from Eliot Engel, chair of the
Foreign Affairs Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives,
that called on Johnson to honour the 1998 Good Friday peace

Engel urged Johnson to "abandon any and all legally
questionable and unfair efforts to flout the Northern Ireland
protocol of the Withdrawal Agreement."

He called on Johnson to "ensure that Brexit negotiations do
not undermine the decades of progress to bring peace to Northern
Ireland and future options for the bilateral relationship
between our two countries."

Engel said Congress would not support a free trade agreement
between the United States and the United Kingdom if Britain
failed to uphold its commitments with Northern Ireland.

The letter was signed by Representatives Richard Neal,
William Keating and Peter King.

Johnson says the United Kingdom has to break parts of the
2020 Brexit treaty to uphold its commitments under the 1998
peace deal.
(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; editing by Sarah Young and
Kate Holton)

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