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Boris Johnson: Joe Biden piles up under pressure at Brexit crunch time

Speaking to journalists in Delaware, Biden said he had spoken to, among others, the British Prime Minister, the Irish Taoiseach and the French government and made clear his opposition to a guarded border between the Republic of Ireland, an EU country and Northern Ireland, which as part of Britain have left the EU.

The president-elect said that “the idea of ​​having the border to the north and south closed again is just not right,” adding that it is incumbent on any stakeholder to “keep the border open.”

The United Kingdom left the EU on 31 January and is currently in a transitional period ending on 31 December, with or without a formal trade agreement in place.

The return to a hard line between the two has always been seen as a potential consequence of the fact that no agreement has been reached between the UK and the EU, despite an agreement reached last year when the first Brexit agreement was reached. to keep the border open.

The Johnson government exacerbated these concerns over the summer when it introduced national legislation that, by the government̵

7;s own accession, would violate the treaty Johnson had signed with the EU and violate international law in a “very specific and limited way.”

The Single Market Bill would allow the UK Government to effectively ignore parts of the Northern Ireland Protocol in order to keep trade between the four nations of the UK as smooth as possible. Critics, however, believe that in the event of a no-deal Brexit, this could create the need for customs controls between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Their fear is that any infrastructure at this border will then be in danger of being vandalized or attacked by customs officials, leading to a need for a guarded border. Many worry this would begin a dangerous slide back to the sectarian violence that claimed more than 3,500 human lives over three decades.

U.S. politicians in both parties, most notably former Democratic President Bill Clinton, played a major role in the 1998 Good Friday deal negotiations, which bought an end to much of the violence.

Biden has previously spoken publicly about the case and tweeted in September: “We cannot allow the Good Friday Agreement, which brought peace to Northern Ireland, to fall victim to Brexit. Any trade agreement between the US and the UK must be conditional on respect for the agreement and prevent the return of A hard line. Period. “

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Britons and Europeans desperately wanting an agreement reached in the next few days are hopeful that this will prove to be a sufficient carrot for Johnson to unlock the talks and avoid a crash-out. Agreement on a trade agreement with the US has always been held up by Brexiteers as a major benefit of having left the EU. And it’s no secret that Johnson is eager to build a good relationship with Biden.

However, time is running out. The Brexit talks have been stuck on the same issues for several months. As Johnson was due to speak to the President of the European Commission at some point this week, the hope is among those seeking an agreement that Biden’s words will push Johnson to finally make the necessary concessions.

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