Boris Johnson’s government has resisted pressure from President Joe Biden to avoid a confrontation with the EU and has reiterated its intention to unilaterally “amend” the Ireland Protocol, the most controversial point of the Brexit agreement, if the negotiations do not bear fruit with Brussels. A delegation of US congressmen and senators, led by Richard Neal, a close ally of Biden, held a meeting on Saturday at the official Chevening residence with Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, who was apparently firm at Washington’s insistence .

Truss argued that his government’s decision, threatening to act at its own risk to remove the barriers to trade between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, responds precisely to the purpose of “protecting the Good Friday Peace Agreement”, and not to put it in danger. The head of the Foreign Office warned that she will not allow the current situation to “drag over time” if the EU does not put on the table a “reasonable solution” to the frictions caused by the Protocol and that have caused social tensions and political: from the riots a year ago in Belfast to the current blockade of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) to the formation of a “power-sharing” government with Sinn Féin, winner in the last elections. The Biden Administration has clearly expressed its concern about a possible trade war with the EU due to the tensions of the Protocol, which could at the same time endanger the unity of the allies against Putin in the Ukraine war. For her part, the president of Congress, Nancy Pelosi, has warned that unilateral action by the United Kingdom with the EU could also jeopardize the negotiation of a future free trade agreement between London and Washington. Joe Biden, of Irish descent, has a personal commitment to the Ulster issue and has redoubled efforts for US involvement as guarantor of the Peace Agreement sealed in 1998. The issue of the Protocol threatens to even interfere with the “special relationship” between Biden and Johnson, strengthened during the war in Ukraine with the close collaboration of the intelligence services and defense departments of the two countries.

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