Brexit blow as US poised to shun UK trade deal: ‘Boris Johnson is in a mess’ | UK | News (Reports)


Brexit trade talks are yet to provide significant progress with the deadline for the transition period approaching. Prime Minister Boris Johnson infuriated the EU by using the Internal Market Bill in a bid to override the withdrawal agreement and change the Northern Ireland protocol. The protocol was agreed by both London and Brussels to ensure that a hard border isn’t formed on the island of Ireland. The European Commission condemned the Internal Market Bill, and confirmed it will take legal action against the UK. One man supporting Brussels in the row was presidential candidate Joe Biden, who said peace in Ireland must not become a “casualty of Brexit”.

Expert on US politics, Professor Scott Lucas of Birmingham University, told earlier this year that a Biden administration combined with Irish sympathies in Washington could see Mr Johnson’s “mess” of a Government dealt a hammer blow in their search for a post-Brexit US trade deal.

He said: “Whatever administration that’s there, if you negotiate an agreement, the US Congress will not allow that free trade agreement if there is a hard Irish border, they will not approve it.

“Right now, the Johnson Government is in a mess, where they have a provision which prevents a hard border, if they get rid of that customs line down the Irish Sea we are back to a hard border.

“The UK cannot advance on an agreement with the US until it is clear what is going to be agreed with the EU because of the Irish question.”

Nine months after Professor Lucas’ comments, the legal wrangling between the EU and UK has pushed the Irish border issue into further disarray.

Professor Stephen Burman, an expert in US politics from Sussex University, told that Mr Johnson is “playing with fire”, and echoed the sentiment that Mr Biden as President wouldn’t tolerate the current approach to Brexit negotiations.

He said last month: “Joe Biden is Irish, so his commitment to a united Ireland would be absolute. If the Brits somehow contravened that and trouble arises on the border, Mr Biden would be furious.

“There are a lot of Irish sympathising politicians in the House of Representatives, and they would scupper a trade deal if Boris Johnson undermined the Good Friday Agreement.

“These things are absolute, the UK has no leverage on this.

“The British Government really are playing with fire here.

“The Americans will not hesitate to teach us a lesson if we don’t get the Irish border issue right.”

READ MORE: Donald Trump warned EU downfall over Brexit

The US election so far has provided an extremely tight race, with President Donald Trump performing better than the polls predicted in the buildup.

However, the Democrats will be encouraged by news coming out of key states like Michigan, where Mr Biden is pulling ahead.

President Trump was victorious in the crucial state of Florida, but Mr Biden also boasts a slender lead in Wisconsin.

Eyes will also be on Pennsylvania in the coming days – possibly the most important state in the election depending on results elsewhere.

President Trump is ahead by 10 percentage points there, but 36 percent of votes are yet to be counted.


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