Wednesday 16 September 2020 5:43 pm

Raab accuses EU of threatening Irish peace in Brexit negotiations

Foreign secretary Dominic Raab has said any threat to the Good Friday Agreement has come from EU negotiators, as he attempts to assuage concerns in the US about a post-Brexit trade deal.

Raab is currently visiting US politicians to convince them about the latest developments in Brexit negotiations, appearing today at a press conference alongside US secretary of state Mike Pompeo.

It follows a move by the government last week to submit draft legislation that would violate international law and undercut parts of the Brexit divorce deal, in an effort to safeguard trade access to Northern Ireland.

Read more: Brexit: Chances of Brexit trade deal ‘fading’, says EU chief

“The threat to the Good Friday Agreement, as it is reflected in the Northern Ireland protocol, comes from the EU’s politicisation of the issue,” Raab told reporters.

“Our commitment to the Good Friday Agreement and to avoid any extra infrastructure at the border at the north and the south is absolute.”

Pompeo said Washington had been convinced by Raab’s assurances, adding: “We trust the United Kingdom… We’ve made clear our view of the importance of the Good Friday Agreement.”

Read more: Boris Johnson says Brexit deal breach will save UK from being ‘carved up’

Raab also said he still believes there is an opportunity to secure a “win-win” free trade deal with Washington, as negotiations continue between the two countries.

“We discussed progress on our free trade agreement negotiations since we last met, and the importance of a clean, resilient, economic recovery from Covid-19,” he said at the press conference.

“Like Mike we’re willing on the negotiators, I think there’s a huge opportunity for a win-win deal, and we’re confident that we can get that.”