Joe Biden puts pressure on Boris Johnson for post-Brexit management. In particular, for his reluctance to apply the Northern Ireland protocol that he himself signed. Thus, the president of the United States, with Irish roots, has brought to London a warning in his first meeting with the British prime minister: avoid that a dispute with the European Union endangers the delicate peace in Northern Ireland, sealed with the 1998 Good Friday Agreements. In the background, the latest conflict is the “sausage war”, due to the British intention to unilaterally extend the grace period to bring refrigerated meats from Great Britain to Northern Ireland, which is part of the European single market.
Of course, the message was sent by his team to the press who were traveling on the plane with the president. And in the bilateral meeting between the two, however, the tone was relaxed, as Biden himself explained, although he took the opportunity to make his support for the Good Friday Agreement clear: “We have had a very productive meeting, in which we reaffirm the relationship and we renew our commitment to uphold the democratic values shared by our two nations. “
Part of that reaffirmation of the Anglo-American bond is that Biden and Johnson signed this Thursday a new Atlantic Charter, inspired by the 1941 agreement between the two countries, around eight key areas in which the United States and the United Kingdom plan to collaborate. The renewed charter that builds “on the commitments and aspirations established 80 years ago” and affirms the “continued commitment to uphold our enduring values and uphold them against new and old challenges.”
The Atlantic Charter was signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill with the post-World War II goals. Downing Street has described it as “one of the greatest triumphs of UK-US relations, and it did more than any other deal to shape the world order that led directly to the creation of the UN and NATO.”
On his first overseas trip since taking office in January, Biden met with Johnson in the English seaside town of Carbis Bay in Cornwall on Thursday ahead of the G7 summit on Friday through Sunday and a summit. of NATO on Monday the 14th, and a summit between the US and the EU on Tuesday the 15th, followed by a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva the following day.
Biden is doing an exercise to rebuild transatlantic relations, but that itself represents a change of tone with Downing Street compared to his predecessor, Donald Trump, one of the main allies of Brexit and Johnson. In this regard, Biden is calling on Johnson to prevent tense divorce negotiations with the EU from undermining a 1998 US-brokered peace deal known as the Good Friday Agreement, which ended three decades of spilling of blood in Northern Ireland.
“President Biden has been very clear about his strong belief in the Good Friday Agreement as the basis for peaceful coexistence in Northern Ireland,” White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters. aboard Air Force One: “Any step that endangers or undermines it would not be welcomed by the United States.” What Sullivan did not do was specify what Johnson’s actions endanger the peace, Reuters reports.
Such is Biden’s concern for Northern Ireland that Yael Lempert, America’s top diplomat to Britain, issued a formal diplomatic complaint to London for “inflaming” tensions, reported The Times.
“He is not issuing threats or ultimatums, he is simply going to convey his deeply held belief that we must uphold and protect this protocol,” Sullivan said.
While Donald Trump celebrated Brexit and held rallies with his greatest exponent, Nigel Farage, Joe Biden has expressed to Boris Johnson his commitment to the Good Friday Agreement from day one, in a warning to the risks of the Internal Market law that wanted to approve the British Government and that has already triggered the alarms of a relevant leader of the Democratic Party, the president of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, who pointed out that “if the United Kingdom violates an international agreement and undermines the Good Friday Agreement, no there will be no chance of a US-UK deal being approved by the US Congress. “
“The Good Friday Agreement is the cornerstone of peace in Northern Ireland and an inspiration to the whole world,” said Pelosi. “Whatever form it takes, Brexit cannot be allowed to jeopardize the Good Friday Agreement, including the stability provided by the invisible and frictionless border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. The UK must respect the Northern Ireland Protocol signed with the EU to ensure the free flow of goods across the border. “
“If the UK violates that international treaty and Brexit undermines the Good Friday deal, there will be absolutely no chance that a US-UK trade deal will be approved by Congress,” Pelosi said. “The Good Friday Agreement is a treasure of the American people and will be proudly defended in the United States Congress.”
The president of the USA in his first telephone conversation with Boris JohnsonIn addition to pointing out shared priorities – containing COVID-19; sustainable economic recovery; combat climate change; strengthening democracy – expressed “interest in cooperating with the United Kingdom, NATO and the EU on shared transatlantic priorities and reaffirmed its support for the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland.”
It cannot be forgotten that Biden’s mother (Scranton, Pennsylvania, 1942), Catherine Eugenia Finnegan, was of Irish origin and was therefore raised in the Catholic religion. Y the Secret Service calls him Celtic, in reference to his Irish roots. These names, the BBC explains, are chosen by the candidate. Trump was Mogul (mogul) and Kamala Harris, vice president-elect, Pioneer (pioneer).
On the day of the announcement of his victory, the BBC aired a file image when a journalist from the British public broadcaster addressed him: “Mr Biden, a question for the BBC!” Biden replied, “The BBC? I’m Irish!” He smiled and continued on his way.
Unlike Trump, Biden opposed Brexit. A trade deal with London is unlikely to be as high a priority as it could be for Trump, which closes a door on Boris Johnson in his negotiating game with the EU. And, like Pelosi, she has ruled out such an agreement if the United Kingdom watered down the Northern Ireland protections enshrined in the Brexit agreement it signed with the EU and which led to the UK’s formal exit from the EU on the 31st. January 2020.
If Johnson had a powerful transatlantic agreement that limited the impact of a Brexit without a trade agreement with the European Union, or if he waved it as a bluff, he already knows that will not happen: not the commitment of Biden and the Democratic Party to international agreements. It is the one that Trump had; you have already been warned not to violate the Irish protocol; And last but not least, the human factor remains: Biden’s Irish roots and Johnson’s offenses against Obama.