Anglo-Irish relations ‘would fundamentally change in no-deal Brexit scenario’

Leo Varadkar's visit will start with a tour of the refurbished Hillsborough Castle

Britain will manage the risks of its withdrawal from the European Union "come what may", and is determined to forge ahead with Brexit, its Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said on Wednesday after talks with his US counterpart in Washington.

Asked when the Irish government will announce where checks on goods travelling between the Republic and Northern Ireland would take place in the event of a no-deal Brexit, Mr Donohoe said Dublin is "engaging with the European Commission" on the issue.

He said he hoped to conclude a new trade deal with the U.S. "as soon as possible after we leave the European Union on October 31".

Forty-five Republican senators signed a letter to Mr. Johnson expressing their willingness to back a bilateral trade deal.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab was due to hold talks with his U.S. counterpart Mike Pompeo at the State Department while International Trade Secretary Liz Truss has lined up meetings with top American trade officials.

Dr Larry Summers, who was US Treasury Secretary under President Bill Clinton, said Britain could not mask the weakness of its hand.

He added, "If there is a deal, we are going to enter into several years of negotiations on a new free trade agreement with the United Kingdom and a new economic and security partnership".

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has prioritised securing global post-Brexit trade deals, in contrast to his predecessor Theresa May, whose own negotiating team was criticised in leaked documents by the Americans for failing to get the right people in the room.

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But there are a number of huge barriers to a potential UK-US trade deal, most particularly the large number of American-Irish politicians who wield influence over US trade policy.

Mr. Pompeo gave the clearest signal to date that the Trump administration is eager to make a deal.

Mr Raab added: "We will stay good friends, good neighbours, with our European partners".

"We appreciate the president's warmth and enthusiasm for the UK-US relationship", Raab said in a statement after their White House meeting.

"The US is our biggest trading partner and we have more than US$1 trillion (S$1.38 trillion) invested in each other's economies".

The Foreign Office said Mr Raab met the president and Vice President Mike Pence in Washington on Tuesday evening on the second leg of his tour of North America.

Tehran said Sunday that it had intercepted a third ship traveling in the Gulf, just weeks after Iranian forces seized a British tanker traveling through the Strait of Hormuz, a key shipping channel in the Gulf.

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