Johnson discusses Northern Ireland’s Brexit deal with US Speaker Nancy Pelosi

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Nancy Pelosi at Downing Street

Q Radio News/PA

Boris Johnson discussed Northern Ireland’s Brexit deal with Nancy Pelosi during the senior US politician’s visit to Downing Street.

The Speaker of the US House of Representatives has been a critic of the Prime Minister’s approach to the issue. 

Downing Street said Mr Johnson raised the Northern Ireland Protocol with Ms Pelosi and “outlined the UK’s concerns” with the way the deal is being implemented.

US President Joe Biden – who has Irish ancestry – and other senior democrats including Ms Pelosi are taking a keen interest in the situation in Northern Ireland.

The UK wants to rewrite the protocol, which avoids a hard border with Ireland by effectively keeping Northern Ireland in the European Union’s single market for goods.

That has led to trade barriers for goods crossing the Irish Sea from Great Britain.

At a time when the UK was considering overriding parts of the agreement in 2020, Ms Pelosi warned that Congress would never pass a free trade agreement with the UK if the Government’s actions imperilled the peace process.

Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, stands outside 10 Downing Street with her husband Paul, as she arrives for talks with Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday

Following Ms Pelosi’s meeting with Mr Johnson on Thursday, a Downing Street spokesman said: “The Prime Minister raised the issue of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

“He outlined the UK’s concerns with the way the protocol is being implemented and the impact it is having on the people of Northern Ireland.

“The Prime Minister and Speaker Pelosi both agreed on the importance of preserving peace in Northern Ireland.”

The two politicians also discussed the US-UK relationship and the importance of tackling climate change.

Ms Pelosi said: “Respectful of the will of the British people and Brexit, I reiterated the strong bipartisan support that the Good Friday Accords continue to enjoy in the United States Congress and our hope that the ongoing negotiations will yield a positive outcome that recognises this landmark agreement.”

Ms Pelosi invited the Prime Minister to a “bipartisan leadership meeting” in the US Capitol during his visit to the States later this month.

She said: “In our meeting, Prime Minister Johnson and I discussed shared priorities including combating the climate crisis and tackling the coronavirus pandemic.

“I thanked the Prime Minister for hosting Cop26 and for his work to make it a success.

“On Covid, I complimented the Prime Minister for his leadership in the fight, as we all work to turn the corner on the pandemic.”

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