Raab had previously accused the EU of wanting to politicise the Brexit withdrawal agreement and insisted that Britain would not want to set up new infrastructure on the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland. A major pro-Irish lobby group, the Ad Hoc Committee for the Protection of the Good Friday Agreement, vowed to build „a green wall“ to defend the deal, citing a convincing statement by former Prime Minister John Major and Tony Blair. Earlier, Raab, alongside US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, told reporters: „Our commitment to the Good Friday Agreement and avoiding additional infrastructure on the Border between North and South [the island of Ireland] is absolute. In response to the letter, a Downing Street spokesman said: „The Prime Minister has made it clear that we are taking these steps to ensure that the Belfast Agreement (Good Friday) is respected in all circumstances and that harmful defaults are not inadvertently brought into play, which could jeopardise the enormous benefits of the peace process. They also said they supported Pelosi`s statement that she would not support a free trade agreement that would undermine the broader Irish peace process. The Quartet called on Mr Raab to „renounce some or any legally dubious and unfair effort to not respect the protocol of the Northern Ireland Withdrawal Agreement“. „The Good Friday Agreement is appreciated by the American people and will continue to be proudly defended by the U.S. Congress.“ He said his government was ready to negotiate an alternative to the withdrawal agreement, but that the border issue needed to be resolved as part of a future trade relationship after the UK`s withdrawal from the EU. As for the prospect of a future deal, senior U.S. politicians said they agreed with Democratic House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi, who said last week that there was „absolutely no chance“ that a trade deal with Washington would go through Congress if the government „jeopardizes“ the Good Friday deal. Congressman Neal chairs the House Ways and Means Committee, which will oversee any future trade deal between the U.S. and Britain.
Critics said the internal market bill, published on Wednesday, would „tear up“ the existing withdrawal agreement. It has become even more controversial because one of its main objectives is to allow ministers to adopt regulations, even if they are contrary to the withdrawal agreement concluded with the EU under the protocol on Northern Ireland. Neal told the New York Times that he had previously received Raab`s assurance of the Good Friday agreement, but that he had been blind to the recent proposed changes in the Withdrawal Agreement.