US Vice President Mike Pence will be in London today for talks with embattled Prime Minister Boris Johnson. While discussions
US Vice President Mike Pence will be in London today for talks with embattled Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
While discussions will likely touch on countering Iranian influence in the Middle East and the ‘threat of Chinese malign influence’ in Europe, it is the Brexit-related chaos that has engulfed British politics that is likely to loom large.
Although a post-Brexit trade agreement will likely be at the centre of Mr Pence’s visit, yesterday’s events have now thrown future US-UK trade relations into uncertainty with the possibility that the US could be negotiating with a new government. British lawmakers on Tuesday dealt Johnson a historic defeat in Parliament, moving to prevent him from taking the country out of the European Union without a formal agreement. The showdown has pushed Britain to the verge of a snap election.
Should a snap election be called and Mr Johnson secure a victory, a no-deal Brexit would be solidified, meaning the primary role of the US would be to secure that there is no hard border in Northern Ireland–something that the US Congress has stated is non-negotiable. But should Johnson lose–and Brexit be delayed–it would further complicate the US-UK trade relationship, likely postponing any further negotiations on a free trade agreement until the UK can achieve further clarity on its exit from the EU.
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