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By Patrick Van Roy On September 10th, 2020

The US House of Representatives Speaker is threatening that there will be ‘absolutely no chance’ of a trade deal with Britain if Boris Johnson overrides the Brexit deal with Brussels.

Nancy Pelosi, a prominent Democrat, said that the American Congress would never pass an economic agreement that it felt could ‘imperil’ the Northern Ireland peace accord.

The comments come after the Prime Minister caught the EU by surprise by unveiling plans to override key elements of the Brexit deal regarding Northern Ireland.

23 Responses to “Pelosi”

  1. The Good Friday Agreement was brokered, in part anyway, by the United States. It shouldn’t be wrong for the United States to consider themselves a custodian of that Agreement. In fact when then Barack Obama talked about walking the US back from their role in this it drew a pretty sizable attack from John McCain.

    It isn’t her dictating to the British how to run “their” affairs. It is simply saying that if the UK is going to act is such a nefarious manner and risk the peace in Northern Ireland then there will be consequences, one of which will be that the heavily talked up UK-US trade deal will be off the table.

  2. This is actually a sensible and helpful intervention that should focus minds in the UK.

  3. How exactly does what is proposed override the GFA

  4. The Northern Ireland Protocol was designed to alleviate the need for a hard border on the island of Ireland. The Internal Market Bill, and similar planed changes is a later Finance Bill, will drive a horse and carriage through the Northern Ireland Protocol. The most likely outcome will be the Northern Ireland Protocol will be null and void thus returning to the need for a hard border on the island of Ireland (and all of the associated problems and violence that causes).

  5. Not trying to be difficult, but why would it lead to a new hard border?

    By eliminating paperwork in trade between NI and mainland UK?

    If the case, why would that lead to a hard border?

  6. It won’t it’s fear mongering before the ink is on the paper.

  7. The Northern Ireland Protocol is designed to protect the EU Single Market, by preventing cheap, underregulated, tariff free goods from leaving Britain and going to Europe via Northern Ireland. It sets out a series of things designed to prevent that. It also requires Northern Ireland to continue to follow EU rules on a range of issues. What the Internal Market Bill, and the Finance Bill later on this month, is aimed at doing is preventing that. In effect weakening if not outright removing the controls and checks aimed at preventing British goods from entering the EU Single Market by a Northern Ireland backdoor.

  8. “It won’t it’s fear mongering before the ink is on the paper.”

    Ok then Patrick. Give me your analysis of the UK Internal Market Bill. Have you read it for a start?

  9. It is worth pointing out that a government minister stood up in the Commons on Tuesday and said what the government was doing is illegal but that they were going to do it anyway because it was only a little bit illegal.


  10. Thanks

    I predict that the UK will back down on this one

    It’s not that hard for the UK and it’s traders to stick to the arrangement

  11. My general feeling is that it is probably a negotiating tactic (if a particularly risky one). It is also a penalty kick, in my opinion, that it gets gutted in the Lords.

  12. Are British traders complaining ?

    Or is this issue more political pride than anything else

    An awful lot of NI / mainland UK trade naturally goes through the port of Dublin anyway. Not sure what the big deal is

  13. Largely no, but then most British traders aren’t impacted by this. Most don’t buy or sell into Northern Ireland.

    The Northern Ireland business community are concerned about an overzealous approach to the NI Protocol (and so would broadly agree with what the British government want to do vis a vis toning the Protocol’s requirements down a bit). However the Northern Ireland business community are very worried that the tactics that the British government are using to go about it could wreck the Protocol in its entirety, opening up the far more harmful risk of a land border.

  14. “An awful lot of NI / mainland UK trade naturally goes through the port of Dublin anyway. Not sure what the big deal is”

    A certain amount, what I’ve heard described as non-negligible proportion, of NI/GB trade goes via Dublin-Holyhead. It does particularly have a large share in the just-in-time market (as the Dublin-Holyhead crossing is the quickest). That being said if there was a lot of disruption UK to EU then outside of that just-in-time market would likely be re-routed to NI ports (trade always goes in the path of least resistance).

  15. like tossing a grenade in the room……

  16. Yes, And some of the NI Product that is shipped to mainland UK is in transit to mainland EU customers

    Getting rid of paperwork Might make that trade harder, not easier

  17. Wouldn’t trade deals be handled By the executive and ratified by the Senate? Where does Pelosi come into this?

  18. Pelosi isn’t dictating anything to the Brits. She’s merely reiterating bipartisan policy, passed unanimously in the House last year, of what the US response will be should the Brits do anything to undermine the GFA:

    It also insists that any future trade agreements between the US and the United Kingdom following the later’s departure from the European Union would adhere to the UK’s Good Friday Agreement’s obligations


  19. It’s my understanding that trade deals need to be ratified by a two thirds majority in both chambers of Congress, Charles.

  20. “Wouldn’t trade deals be handled By the executive and ratified by the Senate? Where does Pelosi come into this?”

    Because under US law trade deals aren’t treated as treaties. Article I Section 8 of the Constitution specifically gives Congress, and not the President, the power to regulate commerce with foreign nations. Additionally given that tariffs in particular are seen as a revenue raising measure, de facto a tax, then any tariffs, or the ability to create tariffs, must originate within the House of Representatives, not the Executive branch or the Senate. Free trade agreements also often require changes to domestic law (state aid, regulations, standards etc…).

    The Trade Act of 1974 requires both House of Congress to approve a trade deal before it goes into force (though also prevents both the House and the Senate from amending the deal).

  21. Iran must abide by International Agreement & Law yet the UK doesn’t have to:


    Absolutely astounding hypocrisy from Dominic Rabb.

  22. I see this as a cynical attempt to reheat the Brexit v remainers argument which this Tory administration regards as a vote winner for them. It’s a populist ploy designed to give Boris and co a chance to flag wave and boast about “standing up to Brussels bullies” no doubt with cheerleading tabloid support.

  23. It’s a negotiating tactic and judging from the EU response it’s a very risky one: