US diplomats have slammed the UK’s handling of Brexit talks and demand London compromise with the EU as any risk to the Good Friday agreement “will not be welcomed by the US”. The Prime Minister denies a crisis is brewing.
The warning was issued to Lord David Frost, Britain’s Brexit Minister and chief negotiator with the EU, by senior US diplomats yesterday.
Jake Sullivan, the US national security advisor, said on Air Force One before President Biden arrived in the UK on June 9, “Any steps that imperil or undermine the Good Friday agreement will not be welcomed by the US.
“The president was not issuing threats or ultimatums. He has been crystal clear about his rock-solid belief in the Good Friday agreement as the foundation for peaceful coexistence in Northern Ireland. The agreement must be protected,” Sullivan added.
The US warning comes after a high-level meeting between Lord Frost and European commission vice-president, Maroš Šefčovič in London yesterday. Brexit talks are now said to be close to collapse.
Lord Frost said after the meeting, “What the EU is insisting on is we should operate the protocol in an extremely purist way. The reality is that it’s a very balanced document that’s designed to support the peace process and deal with the very sensitive politics in Northern Ireland.”
Šefčovič said patience was “wearing very, very thin” and said the EU’s relationship with the UK is “at a crossroads”.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is due to sign a new Atlantic Charter with Biden today, said last night he did not see a problem.
“I’m very very optimistic about this. I think that’s easily doable,” he insisted.
Johnson and Biden will meet in-person for the first time on June 10 in Cornwall ahead of the UK’s G7 Summit, which begins on Friday.
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