US Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has warned the United Kingdom that it must honour the Northern Irish peace deal as it extracts itself from the European Union or there will be no US trade deal.
"We can't allow the Good Friday Agreement that brought peace to Northern Ireland to become a casualty of Brexit," Biden said in a tweet.
"Any trade deal between the US and UK must be contingent upon respect for the agreement and preventing the return of a hard border. Period."
Prime Minister Boris Johnson unveiled legislation last week that would break parts of the Brexit divorce treaty relating to Northern Ireland, blaming the EU for putting a revolver on the table in trade talks and trying to divide the United Kingdom.
He says the United Kingdom has to have the ability to break parts of the 2020 Brexit treaty he signed to uphold London's commitments under the 1998 peace deal, which ended three decades of sectarian violence in Northern Ireland between pro-British Protestant unionists and Irish Catholic nationalists.
The EU says any breach of the Brexit treaty could sink trade talks and thus complicate the border between the United Kingdom's Northern Ireland and EU-member Ireland.
Asked about Biden's criticism, British junior health minister Edward Argar said that he did not believe the Northern Irish peace deal was at risk.
Biden retweeted a letter from Eliot Engel, chair of the US House of Representatives' foreign affairs committee, that said Congress would not support a free trade agreement between the United States and the United Kingdom if Britain failed to uphold its commitments with Northern Ireland.
Australian Associated Press