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Boris Johnson infuriated senior European Union officials by unveiling plans to override key elements of the Brexit deal with Brussels regarding Northern Ireland. But the proposals have sparked a furious reaction throughout Westminster, with ministers admitting the proposed Internal Market Bill will breach international law. In a strongly worded statement, Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the US House of Representatives, said the American Congress would never pass an economic agreement that it felt could “imperil” the Northern Ireland peace accord.
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But Mr Johnson has been backed by a huge majority of Express.co.uk readers to stand his ground and proceed with his Brexit gamble – even if it does put a trade deal with the US at risk.
The poll, which ran from 1pm until 8.30pm on Thursday September 10, asked: “Should Boris Johnson back down over his Brexit deal gamble in order to protect a US trade deal?”
A huge 92 percent (3,665 readers) said the Prime Minister should not back down from his Brexit deal gamble in talks with the EU.
Just eight percent (249 readers) disagreed, while less than one percent (31 readers) were undecided.
One Express.co.uk reader said: “The USA likes to believe it can police the world.
“They are not afraid to impose their beliefs and impose their will on other countries and often believe that theirs a divine right to do so.
“We should not be afraid to stand up for what we believe in, and if they choose not to trade, to cast aside a reliable ally to favour the EU, then we are better off without them. We do not need fair weather friends.”
Another wrote: “The USA wouldn’t pause for a second if the EU was trying to annex one of their states and compromise their sovereignty.
“I don’t see why the UK should back down to the EU. It’s our country and Northern Ireland is part of the UK.”
A third reader commented: “We have been trading with the US on WTO (World Trade Organisation) terms for the last 45 odd years. A few more years won’t matter.
Another person simply said: “No backing down. It is now time to fight for our own interests.”
Ms Pelosi had bluntly warned the Prime Minister his Brexit plans could not “imperil” the international treaty.
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She said: “The Good Friday Agreement is the bedrock of peace in Northern Ireland and an inspiration for the whole world.
“Whatever form it takes, Brexit cannot be allowed to imperil the Good Friday Agreement, including the stability brought by the invisible and frictionless border between the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland.
“The UK must respect the Northern Ireland Protocol as it was signed with the EU to ensure the free flow of goods across the border.
“If the UK violates that international treaty and Brexit undermines the Good Friday accord, there will be absolutely no chance of a US-UK trade agreement passing the Congress.
“The Good Friday Agreement is treasured by the American people and will be proudly defended in the United States Congress.”
The EU is now threatening legal action against the UK if ministers do not withdraw measures to override key parts of the withdrawal agreement by the end of this month.
During an emergency meeting in London, European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic told Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove the EU is rejecting the argument legislation is needed to protect the peace process in Northern Ireland.
He said Britain had “seriously damaged trust” with the Bill that deviates from the withdrawal agreement signed by the Prime Minister, adding “in no uncertain terms” that the “timely and full implementation” of the divorce deal is “a legal obligation”.
But following this meeting, Mr Gove insisted: “The UK Government is committed to the implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement and the (Northern Ireland) protocol.
“Vice President Sefcovic also requested the UK withdraw its internal market legislation.
“I explained to him that we could not and would not do that and instead I stressed the vital importance of reaching agreement through the joint committee on these vital questions.”
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