White House warns change to hated Brexit deal will hurt UK-US trade

Joe Biden interrupts First Lady's meeting with secretaries

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White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre revealed any efforts taken by Liz Truss’ Government to undermine the Northern Ireland Protocol would not create a conducive environment for UK-US trade talks. Ms Truss entered Number 10 on September 6 after a long-drawn-out Tory leadership race which saw her defeat ex-Chancellor Rishi Sunak.

However, the former Foreign Secretary, who took on Lord David Frost’s Brexit brief following his resignation from Boris Johnson’s Cabinet last December, introduced legislation to undo elements of the Protocol in July.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Ms Jean-Pierre said: “There is no formal linkage on trade talks between the US.”

However, she added: “But efforts to undo the Northern Ireland Protocol would not create a conducive environment.”

President Biden also spoke with Ms Truss on Tuesday.

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In a readout, the White House said: “The leaders reaffirmed the special relationship between our countries and expressed their readiness to further deepen those ties.

“President Biden and Prime Minister Truss discussed the importance of continued close cooperation on global challenges, including supporting Ukraine as it defends itself against Russian aggression, addressing the challenges posed by China, preventing Iran from ever acquiring a nuclear weapon, and securing sustainable and affordable energy resources.

“They also discussed their shared commitment to protecting the gains of the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement and the importance of reaching a negotiated agreement with the European Union on the Northern Ireland Protocol.”

Brexiteers have long voiced support for signing a trade deal with the US since the UK held a vote on its membership of the European Union.

Following limited success with the Donald Trump administration and further blows with his successor, the UK Government turned to specific US states to make further progress.

Ex-Trade Minister Penny Mordaunt claimed a recent accord with Indiana would be the “first of many… as we look to bolster our £200billion trading relationship with the US”.

It was previously claimed the UK had been working with around 20 states to secure individual trade deals, with the first eight alone accounting for about 20 percent of the American economy.

However, officials in Brussels have also put pressure on Ms Truss to respect the Northern Ireland Protocol.

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European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen even said Britain must “respect” its commitments under the Northern Ireland Protocol if it wants a “constructive relationship” with the EU.

Irish Taoiseach Micheal Martin added a “pathway” to resolving the matter can be found “if there is a will” and claimed Dublin will work with London and Brussels “to do the practical and sensible thing”.

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