Brexit trade deal: Joe Biden’s fury at Boris as US-UK deal put in ‘problematic position’ | UK | News (Reports)


Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney hit out at the UK’s Brexit stance, also warning that Ireland would be “prioritised” by Joe Biden’s administration. He said: “Now that Joe Biden is going to be the next president of the United States, that will be a cause for, certainly, a pause for thought in Number 10, to ensure that Irish issues are prioritised as we try to close out this phase of the Brexit negotiation. The statements that have come — not only from Joe Biden but from many on Capitol Hill — that if the Good Friday Agreement and peace on the island of Ireland isn’t protected through Brexit, that securing a trade deal between the US and UK would be very, very problematic.”

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Mr Coveney’s warning came in an interview with RTE in November, as the UK and EU continued negotiations for a Brexit trade deal.

Brussels and London finally reached an agreement, but not without Prime Minister Johnson infuriating EU leaders.

As a no deal Brexit loomed, the UK Government introduced a plan which risked adapting the Northern Ireland protocol, a part of the withdrawal agreement, to ensure an open border remained on the island of Ireland.

But Mr Johnson’s Internal Market Bill sparked anger in Washington, with Mr Biden warning that the Good Friday Agreement must not be a “casualty of Brexit”.

The UK Government eventually backed down on its efforts to modify the protocol, but was warned that future challenges could scupper a post-Brexit deal with the US.

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US politics expert Professor Stephen Burman told in the lead up to the US election that Mr Johnson’s Internal Market Bill would have certainly left the UK with no US trade deal.

He said: “Joe Biden is Irish, so his commitment to a united Ireland would be absolute. If the Brits somehow contravened that and trouble arises on the border, Mr Biden would be furious.

“There are a lot of Irish sympathising politicians in the House of Representatives, and they would scupper a trade deal if Boris Johnson undermined the Good Friday Agreement.

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“His current approach will not work, and everyone around Boris Johnson knows that.”

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Charles Kupchan, a former President Barack Obama official and now Biden adviser, told Times Radio in November that Brexit was attracting few plaudits in Washington.

He said: “The bottom line is that Brexit is an act of self-isolation.

“The UK alone does not cut a large figure on the international landscape, and as a consequence I do worry that, moving forward, whether the issue is Ukraine, or India, or China or Russia, the UK is going to have to figure out how to make itself relevant at a time when it is very inwardly focused.

“So the relationship between the US and the UK will be fine. I’m just not sure it’s going to matter that much.”


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