Grassley says he'd still make deal with UK in case of no-deal Brexit

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyMcConnell under fire for burying election bills in ‘legislative graveyard’ Senators vow to bring transparency to drug pricing Senate panel advances bipartisan bill to lower drug prices amid GOP blowback MORE (R-Iowa) threw his support to new British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday, saying the U.S. would happily entertain a new trade deal, even in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Johnson has threatened to move forward with Brexit on Oct. 31 even without a deal, which would introduce trade barriers between Ireland and North Ireland, possibly upsetting a hard-fought peace deal.

 

Grassley, whose committee has jurisdiction over trade in the Senate, said how the U.K. handles Brexit was none of his concern.

“The general proposition I have is I’m for free trade agreements with whoever wants to have them with us and whoever we can negotiate a fair agreement with,” he said.

Grassley also said, “What happens in regard to Ireland and Northern Ireland and Britain being in or out is a British issue.”

His comments are a split from Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiThe Hill’s Morning Report – Progressives, centrists clash in lively Democratic debate Democrats warn of Trump trap No mention of Mueller, impeachment during second Democratic debate MORE (D-Calif.) over how the U.S. should respond to a potential no-deal Brexit.

In April, Pelosi warned that she would oppose a new U.S.-U.K. trade deal if Brexit harmed Irish peace. 

“Let me be clear: if the Brexit deal undermines the Good Friday accords, there will be no chance of a U.S.-U.K. trade agreement,” she told Ireland’s parliament.

The British pound has lost some 3 percent of its value since Johnson took office last week over concerns that a no-deal Brexit would leave the U.K. in the cold when it comes to its trade relationships.

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