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Brexit: Dominic Raab seeks to reassure US politicians over Brexit bill



Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab wearing a face mask expects French and German foreign ministers to arrive for a meeting of E3 Ministers at the Chevening House in Sevenoaks, KentImage copyright
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Mr Raab wore a face mask with a union jacket when he met with French and German ministers in Kent last week

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab is in Washington where he is expected to try to reassure American politicians about the latest Brexit turnaround.

Some US politicians are worried about the UK government’s plan to bypass parts of the Brexit divorce deal.

Mr. Raab will meet with US President Nancy Pelosi, who last week said there would be no UK-US trade agreement if the Northern Ireland peace agreement was undermined.

No one has said the peace deal will be supported in all circumstances.

Mr Raab will meet with key politicians including his US counterpart Mike Pompeo, as well as Democratic Congresswoman Ms Pelosi, who chairs the House of Representatives.

Threats to the UK-US trade agreement

Brexit is expected to be at the top of the agenda at Washington meetings.

Earlier this week, a proposed law would give the UK government the power to bypass part of the Brexit withdrawal deal – which Prime Minister Boris Johnson agreed with the EU last October – cleared her first hurdle.

It was approved by the deputies in the House of Commons, but must now be approved by the House of Lords.

If the law goes into effect, it would violate international law – a prospect that sparked an angry response from senior US officials last week.

  • What just happened with Brexit?

Ms Pelosi says if UK breaks international law and Brexit undermines Good Friday Agreement – NI peace agreement – there would be “absolutely no chance of a US-UK trade deal passing Congress.”

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Media titleGood Friday Deal: A Brief Guide

Then on Tuesday, four senior congressmen also issued a similar warning, saying a UK-US trade deal would be blocked if the UK fails to maintain the profits of the Good Friday Agreement.

In a letter to Mr Johnson, the four congressmen said plans to change part of the Brexit agreement on Northern Ireland (known as the Northern Ireland Protocol) could have “catastrophic consequences for the Good Friday Agreement and the wider process of maintaining peace on the island of Ireland. “

“We therefore urge you to abandon any and all legally dubious and unfair efforts to reject Northern Ireland’s withdrawal agreement protocol and look to ensure that the Brexit negotiations do not undermine decades of progress to bring peace to Northern Ireland, “the letter added.

None of the 10 responded to the letter, saying it was taking these steps to make sure the “Good Friday Agreement” is respected in all circumstances and harmful defaults do not inadvertently come into play that could jeopardize the winnings of of the peace process “.

“We are fully committed to not having strong borders and no border infrastructure between the Republic of Ireland and Ireland N. This is about a network of legal security and that has not suddenly imposed east-west controls that are in direct conflict with The Belfast Agreement (Good Friday). “

Spokesman No. 10 added: “We will continue to engage with our US partners on a bipartisan basis to ensure that our positions are understood and to ensure that we agree on a trade agreement with broad US support. Reaches Out “

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Brexit can not be “allowed to jeopardize” Good Friday Agreement, Ms. Pelosi said

In his talks Wednesday, Mr Raab is expected to argue that the government’s plans are preliminary and proportionate – and a response to what ministers describe as threats from the EU to block food imports.

Mr Raab will also meet with Mr Pompeo amid ongoing transatlantic tensions over Iran.

The US Secretary of State recently accused Britain and its European allies of “siding with the ayatollahs” for blocking further UN sanctions on Iran.

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