Concern over the new protocol has reached the doors of the White House, prompting US authorities to step forward. The delegation will be led by influential Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richie Neal, who has significant power over future trade deals.
The UK government has hinted it may abandon parts of a Brexit deal with the European Union.
Nile Gardiner, former assistant to Margaret Thatcher, said: “Excellent. The Northern Ireland Protocol must go. Boris Johnson can tear up Northern Ireland protocol, Attorney General rules.
Arrangements are being made for at least half a dozen US congressional officials to travel to Europe for a series of meetings in Brussels, Dublin, London and Belfast, according to reports.
Antony Blinken, the US Secretary of State, has previously said the US intends to appoint its own envoy to Northern Ireland.
The Guardian reported that the delegation would likely highlight President Biden’s commitment to defending the Good Friday Agreement and the role of the United States as a guarantor.
He has repeatedly stressed how integral the protocol is to maintaining peace and stability.
A White House spokesman said of the UK-EU dispute: “The best way forward is a pragmatic one that requires courage, cooperation and leadership.”
Boris Johnson is expected to deliver a speech on the future of the protocol on Monday after talks between Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and European Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič, which a British source described as of “technology”.
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The Northern Ireland Protocol – which requires checks on certain goods entering Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK – has been a source of tension since it came into force in early 2021.
The European Union (EU) has warned that if the UK takes action it could retaliate by introducing trade sanctions.
Special arrangements were needed for Northern Ireland after the UK voted for Brexit in 2016.
That’s because it’s the only part of the UK with a land border with an EU country – the Republic of Ireland.
Before Brexit, it was easy to transport goods across this border because both sides automatically followed the same EU trade rules, so no checks or documents were needed.
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After Brexit, a new system was needed because the EU has strict food rules and requires border checks when certain products, such as milk and eggs, arrive from third countries.
The border is also a sensitive issue due to Northern Ireland’s troubled political history.
There were fears that cameras or border posts would become a target and lead to instability.
The UK and EU have agreed that protecting the 1998 peace deal with Northern Ireland – the Good Friday Agreement – is a top priority.
Thus, they accepted the Northern Ireland Protocol as part of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement, which is now part of international law.
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This notice was published: 2022-05-13 03:02:29