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Joe Biden reminds Boris Johnson the world is watching Brexit – and some are not impressed



The Democratic presidential candidate tweeted on Wednesday: “We cannot allow the Good Friday deal that brought peace to Northern Ireland to become a victim of Brexit. Any trade deal between the US and the UK Kingdom must be conditional on compliance with the agreement and to prevent the return of a hard border. Period. ”

The tweet refers to a political argument currently booming in UK. Last week, the Johnson government unveiled a bill that would overturn parts of the Brexit deal the UK had agreed with the European Union last fall.

Specifically, it would cancel part of the deal known as the Northern Ireland Protocol. The main purpose of this is that there is no hard border between the Republic of Ireland, an EU member state, and Northern Ireland, which, along with the rest of the UK, has left EU and is in a transition period out of the bloc which expires on December 31.

Members of Johnson’s government have previously admitted that the legislation, if passed, “would violate international law in a very specific and limited way.” It has raised alarm bells among lawmakers in Johnson’s own party, many of whom have publicly said they will rebel and vote for measures to pull the teeth out of the bill next Tuesday.

The rebellion seems to have frightened the government enough. A deal was reached with Johnson’s harshest critics on Wednesday evening, with the government admitting Parliament would be consulted before the bill’s more controversial measures could be used. This was seen as important, as Johnson’s government has a reputation for being particularly combative and reluctant to cede ground to anyone.

However, many Tory lawmakers reached out to CNN on Wednesday night to point out that the deal between lawmakers and Downing Street did nothing to address the fundamental point that this legislation would allow the government to violate international law. All of these concessions meant she would do it after seeking parliamentary approval.

Biden’s comments will serve as an uncomfortable reminder to the UK that, despite Britain’s perception that it has a special relationship with the US, the Irish lobby in Washington is strong. Democrats are particularly interested in it, with former President Bill Clinton playing a leading role in the negotiations that led to the Good Friday deal.

It could also open the UK’s eyes to the fact that, despite President Donald Trump’s warm words about Johnson and Brexit, many politicians on the other side of Washington’s divide have opposed Brexit and have no illusions that a trade deal with the UK is not as high a priority in the US as in London.

Since the UK referendum on the EU in 2016, the prospect of a trade deal with the US has been touted by many Brexiteers as one of the prices that await the country once it wrestles control of its commercial policy in Brussels. However, despite Trump’s previously unsubstantiated claims that a deal could be reached that would increase U.S.-UK trade “four to five times” it should be approved by the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives.

However effective a Johnson cheerleader may be on Brexit, her optimism can do nothing in the face of the fact that in November the American political landscape could be very different. It may be that the UK’s most important ally goes from a leader who admires both Johnson and Brexit to a man who served as vice president to Barack Obama, who said in the UK in 2016 that Brexit would put Britain “at the bottom of the queue”. “in trade negotiations.

Which means that, as the Brexit clock ticks through the end of the year, Johnson could realistically envision no trade deal with the EU, no trade deal with the US and a coronavirus resurfaces. He may come to regret tweeting on January 2 that 2020 was “is going to be a fantastic year for Britain.”

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