Ousting Donald Trump would hit Boris Johnson’s plans for a hard Brexit

PUBLISHED: 15:05 28 February 2020 | UPDATED: 15:05 28 February 2020

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks in the East Room of the White House. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images.

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks in the East Room of the White House. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images.

2020 Getty Images

An expert has predicted that Boris Johnson’s plans for a hard Brexit would be significantly impacted if Donald Trump was ousted later this year as US president.

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An expert in international politics believes Trump's Democrat rival would not agree to a free trade agreement in the same form that the existing president is advocating.

Professor Scott Lucas of the University of Birmingham has warned that the likes of Bernie Sanders - current favourite to be the Democrat candidate - would force Boris Johnson back to the negotiating table with the European Union because of fears over the impact a free trade deal would have on workers.

"If Sanders was president, the UK government would have to come to the US with a resolution with the EU," he told the Express.

"Because what is Sanders' priority? The reason why he didn't like other free trade deals is because they didn't provide enough protection for labour, and for small American companies, and instead benefitting big companies.

"He was against the EU-US trade deal because he felt standards would be lowered."

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Sanders has opposed a number of trade deals in the past because of weakened protections for workers.

Back in 2016 the senator said: "I do not believe in unfettered free trade. I believe in fair trade which works for the middle class and working families, not just large multinational corporations".

Lucas also warned that Ireland will also be an issue for American politicians - and without a deal with the European Union that will be even more significant.

"Whatever administration that's there, if you negotiate an agreement, the US congress will not allow that free trade agreement if there is a hard Irish border, they will not approve it.

"Right now, the Johnson government is in a mess, where they have a provision which prevents a hard border, if they get rid of that customs line down the Irish Sea we are back to a hard border.

"The UK cannot advance on an agreement with the US until it is clear what is going to be agreed with the EU because of the Irish question."

Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi said last year that a US-UK trade agreement would not be approved if it undermines the Good Friday Agreement.

"Whatever form it takes, Brexit cannot be allowed to imperil the Good Friday agreement, including the seamless border between the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland, especially now, as the first generation born into the hope of Good Friday 21 years ago comes into adulthood." Pelosi said. "We cannot go back."

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