By Tony O’Riley-
An official on behalf of president Biden has said that the U.S leader would not get ‘controversial or adversarial’ when he speaks to British prime minister, Boris Johnson, about Northern Ireland.
The official indicated that Biden was wants the Good Friday agreement settled in accordance with the protocols signed to by Britain.
After initial reports that the U.S president had rebuked Boris Johnson, a senior Biden administration official to rectify the misinformation and calm things down. Biden has been reported to have cautioned the Uk not to imperil the Northern Ireland agreement , as talks between the Uk and the EU appeared to be stagnant with no progress in sight. Angry responses from some staunch some Brexitiers in parliament had gone as far as referring to Biden as ”senile” for interfering in the row between the Uk and the EU. Biden as president of the United States is the most powerful man in the world, and cuts a confident figure when it comes to displaying reasonableness.
Of Northern Irish decent, he has several incentives in the escalating row and is known to be responsible, intelligent, and reasonable. He is the first U.S President to gave been radical in his rebuke against racism, threatening to fire any of his staff if he ever discovered they had treated someone wrong because of their colour. As leader of the modern world, his involvement is inevitable, certainly with Irish blood running through his veins.
However, Biden may also be seen as the strong president with a stick in one hand and a carrot in the other.
The official said ”first of all the conversation wasn’t directed by the president . It wasn’t heightened, and as with any ally we have diplomatic conversations about areas where we have concern at many levels.
‘He didn’t come here to give a lecture,’ they said. However, the official went on to state Biden’s position on the hot Northern Ireland dispute with the Uk over sausages.
‘He believes that the Good Friday agreement is the foundation for peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland … the current discussions between the UK and EU should continue the vitality of Good Friday agreement.’
Biden will attend the G7 summit for three days starting on Friday, to work on US policy priorities such as the economy and allied unity.
Mr Biden who is expected to set up a new ‘Atlantic Charter’ modelled on the post-Second World War pact made by FDR and Winston Churchill, will tell Mr. Johnson that he is seeking to open travel between the Uk and the U.S as soon as possible. But he will not lie low in expressing his strong convictions that the Uk cannot justifying departing from the agreement he signed. The American leader will be offering open doors in terms of trade with the Uk- a usual expectation between historical leaders of the two close allies.
At this moment in history, this offer has the feeling of an olive branch offered to trade with what the U.S administration sees as a much needed concession by the Uk government in the sausage row.
Biden is not believed to be a fan of Brexit, coming from the school of thought of Barack Obama, with whom he walked closely during the latter’s dispensation. Obama recently stated that Biden was here to finish what he started.
That statement wasn’t stamped off by Biden, it can be assumed that with his Irish heritage , any breach of agreement is not something he would take lightly. The pressure of Downing Street to justify its thinking will increase.
The Uk prime minister’s own concerns need to be raised, if there are any valid ones in this potentially very divisive issue. The advantages and disadvantages of compromise must already have been assessed or in the process of assessment, More factors may have to weigh in the reasoning and discussions.
The United States has strongly urged’ Britain to exhaust all options in trying to attain an agreement, even if that meant making ‘unpopular compromises’.
After initial reports that the U.S president had rebuked Boris Johnson, a senior Biden administration official ort to rectify the misinformation and calm things down. He said ”first of all the conversation wasn’t directed by the president . It wasn’t heightened, and as with any ally we have diplomatic conversations about areas where we have concern at many levels..
The rebuke came amid stalemate talks between Britain and Brussels over sausage imports.
European Commission vice-president Maros Sefcovic threatened to retaliate if the UK takes unilateral action to continue the flow of British-produced chilled meats to Northern Ireland.
The row now threatens to overshadow talks between Mr Johnson and Mr Biden today ahead of the G7 meeting of world leaders in Cornwall. Mr Biden arrived in the UK with huge fanfare last night.
European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said on Thursday that the protocol was the ‘one and only solution’ to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland and that she still saw ‘fundamental gaps’ in Britain’s implementation of it.
The ‘sausage war’ row between Britain and the European Union over Northern Ireland is the latest issue threatening a crisis, but can still be solved. It will take a thorough reckoning with the facts and potential consequences of allowing a disaster occur over something that should have answers. When Boris Johnson agreed a Brexit deal with Brussels to make Brexit happen it included the Northern Ireland Protocol.
Under Pressure: Uk prime minister Boris Johnson Image: Getty
The new arrangements have been disruptive to trade since the beginning of the year the year due to the challenges that comes with new processes and administration.
Under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998, which ended decades of sectarian violence in Ulster, the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland must remain ‘soft’, ie no ‘hard’ border posts with checks on traffic.
The NIP, which was signed off by both sides, effectively keeps Northern Ireland in the European single market for goods in order to avoid a hard border with Ireland.
It has meant erecting a trade barrier in the Irish Sea for goods crossing from Great Britain, which have to face customs checks before entering Northern Ireland – even if they are not being taken into the Republic.
A six-month ‘grace period’ for these checks was agreed to allow the infrastructure to be put in place, which runs out at the end of June.
Earlier this year, armed loyalist groups said they were temporarily withdrawing support for the 1998 peace agreement due to concerns over the Brexit deal.
The groups said they believed Britain, Ireland and the EU had breached their commitments to the peace deal.
The UK Government current position is that they may extend the check-free period after June 30.
The EU is insisting that the UK must honour the deal it signed up to less than six months ago, and has threatened to launch a trade war against Britain if it fails to implement checks on goods entering Northern Ireland under the terms of the Brexit ‘divorce’ settlement which Mr Johnson signed.
Summit To Apply Pressure On Johnson
EU institution leaders will use the summit to apply pressure on Boris Johnson, but it’s to early to tell how he will react. Mr Johnson that Britain and the EU had both agreed the protocol governing Northern Ireland trade arrangements and that Britain must apply it and not make unilateral changes.
‘We will discuss that in a trilateral meeting in Cornwall together. We are determined to do everything to keep peace and stability on the island of Ireland. It is important that there is deep respect for the protocol,’ von der Leyen told a news conference.
‘I don’t think you would expect me to get into discussions with other countries but I think we have been clear that we need to urgently find solutions that support the Belfast Good Friday Agreement and minimise disruption to communities in Northern Ireland, particularly to avoid disruption to critical supplies such as medicines,’ he said.
‘That is why we have been and continue to work closely with the EU to try to find pragmatic solutions that achieve those objectives.’
The President and his wife Jill left Washington on Wednesday morning and landed at Royal Air Force Mildenhall to address US Air Force personnel stationed in Britain.