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US reaffirms interest in reaching EU-UK agreement on Irish protocol

US reaffirms interest in reaching EU-UK agreement on Irish protocol

The U.S. trade representative said his country was pursuing talks between Britain and the European Union on regulating trade relations between the two parts of the island of Ireland and called on both sides to resolve the dispute.

US Trade Representative Catherine Dai said President Joe Biden has continued to emphasize the importance of not allowing Britain to leave the EU in order to disrupt the so-called Good Friday Agreement on the island of Ireland, signed in 1998.

Significantly, Britain’s withdrawal from the EU led to the return of restrictions on trade between the Republic of Ireland, a member of the European Union, and Northern Ireland.

“For our part, considering the levels of deep interest that exist here and the importance of investing in the tradition of the Good Friday Agreement, we expect that what is happening in the UK-EU relationship will always be on our radar and be a part of it, our passion,” Day said.

Dain’s comments came while attending a virtual conference with the Institute of International and European Affairs in Dublin, Ireland.

Earlier this week, British Foreign Secretary Lis Truss indicated that Britain was ready to unilaterally boycott the post-Brexit agreement on Northern Ireland if talks with the EU failed.

Truss, who was appointed Britain’s Brexit negotiator last December, made his position clear in the Sunday Telegraph on Thursday, ahead of a key meeting with his EU envoy.

“When we see Maros Chefkov in our first direct talks this week, Europe’s leading Brexit negotiator will present our constructive plans for a solution,” Truss wrote.

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But he described England’s position as a “viable compromise” and said Truss was “ready to trigger the 16th Amendment if necessary.”

“This safety rule was explicitly established and agreed upon by all parties to mitigate serious problems, due to the sensitivity of the issues at hand,” he wrote.

Britain’s main complaint is that the protocol, which sets up an effective customs border in the Irish Sea to ensure there is no rough border on the island of Ireland, is blocking trade between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.

The British government signed the protocol in 2019.