Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the US House of Representatives
Photo: Alex Wong / AFP
The Brexit dispute between Great Britain and the EU is coming to a head.
On Thursday, the chief negotiators of both sides will meet for the last day of their round of talks on a trade pact.
It is the eighth round of negotiations - little progress had been made in the previous seven.
The chances of success for a trade pact are likely to have become even lower: The British government surprisingly announced that it wanted to make changes to the current Brexit deal.
The content is about contractual clauses on Northern Ireland.
They are actually supposed to prevent a fixed border from developing between the British part of Northern Ireland and the EU state Ireland and old hostilities from breaking out again.
However, the British government has now announced that it will pass a new law that could partially undo the binding international agreement with the EU on Northern Ireland.
A corresponding draft for the internal market law had already been introduced into parliament on Wednesday.
Northern Ireland Minister Brandon Lewis had previously confirmed to the perplexed MPs in the House of Commons that the law would not only undermine part of the Brexit agreement, but would even violate international law.
The project met with sharp criticism from the opposition, from some of the ruling conservatives, EU representatives and also from business.
The EU is now getting surprisingly clear support from a direction in which the Brexiteers are actually looking with great hope: from the USA.
The Brexit supporters camp had always argued that they wanted to conclude a comprehensive free trade agreement with the USA immediately.
However, the negotiations never really got off the ground.
It could stay that way - at least if the British government breaks the Brexit agreement.
A trade agreement between the United States and Great Britain will then have "absolutely no chance" in Congress, Nancy Pelosi told The Irish Times.
The Democrat Pelosi is the chairwoman of the US House of Representatives.
The US Congress would have to approve such a trade agreement - and with their majority in the House of Representatives, Pelosi's Democrats could block it.
Pelosi sees Boris Johnson's actions as a threat to peace in Northern Ireland, particularly the so-called Good Friday Agreement.
It will not allow Brexit "in whatever form to jeopardize the Good Friday Agreement, including the stability achieved by the invisible and frictionless border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland," said Pelosi.
An adviser to the Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden had previously made a similar statement.
Icon: The mirror
beb / Reuters