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EU are using Northern Ireland to ‘relitigate Brexit’, claims former US national security adviser John Bolton

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John Bolton (Carolyn Kaster/AP)

John Bolton (Carolyn Kaster/AP)

John Bolton (Carolyn Kaster/AP)

The former US national security adviser John Bolton has suggested the European Union are attempting to use Northern Ireland to “relitigate the Brexit decision”.

In a letter published in the Daily Telegraph on Thursday, Mr Bolton questioned the current US Government and Washington politicians for their position on the Northern Ireland Protocol.

He also claimed Dublin would benefit from “striving to weaken British internal unity” and said the US should side with Britain as opposed to the EU.

The former UN ambassador made the comments following the escalating row between the UK and EU over Boris Johnson’s decision to legislate to potentially override parts of the protocol agreement.

In response the European Union has resumed legal action against the UK and Speaker Nancy Pelosi in the United States has previously warned a free trade agreement with the UK is in peril if Westminster persists with “deeply concerning” plans to “unilaterally discard” the Northern Ireland Protocol.

In his letter, Mr Bolton said scrapping the protocol makes “preserving the [Good Friday] Agreement more likely” and claimed “quashing the EU's harmful meddling will reduce the tensions it has improvidently raised”.

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“Many if not most international agreements have withdrawal clauses, but even without one, a state cannot be bound under a deal when the parties' fundamental expectations were based on erroneous understandings at the time or later,” he wrote.

“Consider merely one aspect of a Bill introduced in Parliament on Monday, eliminating the role of EU judges in disputes involving the Protocol.

“Since the central issue is trade between parts of the UK, allowing external judges any say whatever is astonishing and illegitimate, like allowing Canada to dictate terms of trade between Alaska and the Lower Forty-Eight.

“In all post-Brexit matters, people should get used to the idea that London owes Brussels no subservience.

“Dublin may prefer benefiting from EU leverage but it is delusional to think that striving to weaken British internal unity is productive.”

President Joe Biden previously urged Boris Johnson not to rip up the Northern Ireland Protocol last month and instead called on him to “continue engaging in dialogue” with Brussels.

“What Washington really needs, strategically and politically, is a strong UK, helping to lead the Nato alliance both in the immediate crisis and longer term, and in reinvigorating the special relationship on a global basis after years of tensions,” Mr Bolton added.

“With all due respect, Ireland is not a Nato member. Even as Finland and Sweden apply for Nato membership, Ireland remains mute. That is certainly Ireland's choice; so are the consequences.”

Also serving under former president George W Bush, Mr Bolton was fired by Donald Trump while serving in his administration in 2019.


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