Prime Minister Boris Johnson has suggested U.S. presidential hopeful Joe Biden does not understand Britain’s negotiations with the European Union, after the Democrat intervened on Brexit on the EU’s side.
The 77-year-old former U.S. vice president butted into the Brexit talks to threaten he would block a British-American trade deal if the United Kingdom undermines the Belfast or Good Friday Agreement which brokered peace between the British state and the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) terror organisation in Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom.
The EU and its sympathisers are claiming that Johnson’s current push for legislation to stop the EU from using the Withdrawal Agreement (WA) with the UK to blockade food imports to Northern Ireland from the British mainland, and extend EU control over state in the province to all British business with dealings there.
Controversially, the British government had agreed that the EU will maintain control over Northern Ireland’s regulations and state aid rules if a trade deal between the UK and EU is not struck by the end of 2020, in order to maintain the open border between Northern Ireland and the Irish republic, which is an EU member-state.
British negotiators believe the EU is now using an “abusive” and “extreme” interpretation of these powers to threaten to blockade food going from Great Britain to Northern Ireland — even though they are constituent parts of a single country — if Britain does not agree to a deal which meets the EU’s extensive demands. Among them are the demand that Brexit Britain continue letting the EU set its rules, and take the lion’s share of its fish stocks.
Former UK Conservative Leader to Biden: Stay Out of Brexit, Worry About ‘Killing and Rioting’ in USA https://t.co/l90OigJP4q
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) September 17, 2020
“We continue to remain absolutely committed to no hard border and no border infrastructure between the Republic and Northern Ireland,” Boris Johnson’s spokesman said of Biden’s comments in comments reported by The Sun.
“We will continue to work with our US partners to ensure our position is understood but the whole point of this — as the Prime Minister has set out — is to make sure the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement is upheld,” which the tabloid believes is a nod to President Donald Trump’s characterisation of Biden as “Sleepy Joe, [who] gets confused and is prone to gaffes.”
It is the British position that it is the EU’s threats to stop food going from Great Britain to Northern Ireland which would break the Agreement, not their plans to stop them from doing so.
It is also unclear why British Ireland and EU Ireland having somewhat different regulations and state aid rules would really necessitate a “hard border” in any meaningful sense, as a “hard border” already exists with respects to currency, Value Added Tax (VAT) on goods, and so on without a physically manned frontier being necessary.
The serve back from the Boris Johnson team follows a rather more strongly worded rejection of interference by former Conservative party leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith yesterday. Mr Duncan Smith said that Britain doesn’t “need lectures on the Northern Ireland peace deal from Mr Biden” following violence largely in Democrat-controlled cities, saying that: “If I were him I would worry more about the need for a peace deal in the USA to stop the killing and rioting before lecturing other sovereign nations.”
Sloppy Joe: Biden Confuses British PM Theresa May with Margaret Thatcher (Who Left Office in 1990) https://t.co/65uAbRxqHw
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) May 6, 2019