Donald Trump celebrated Brexit and has given rallies in this electoral campaign with his greatest exponent, Nigel Farage. And Joe Biden expresses to Boris Johnson his commitment to the Good Friday Agreement, in a warning to the risks of the Internal Market law that the British Government wants to approve and that has already triggered the alarms of a relevant leader of the Democratic Party, the spokeswoman of Congress, Nancy Pelosi, who pointed out that “if the United Kingdom violates an international agreement and undermines the Good Friday Agreement, there will be no possibility that a US-UK agreement will be 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, 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: Good Friday is a treasure of the American people and will be proudly defended in the United States Congress.
Pelosi was responding to the British Government’s Internal Market bill, which undermines Ireland’s protocol in the Brexit deal and thus violates international law by contravening it. So do the Lords, who on Monday gave Johnson a crushing defeat by voting on two sets of amendments to strip the internal market law of controversial clauses that contravene the EU Withdrawal Agreement. But the bill is due to return to the House of Commons in December.
The president-elect of the United States spoke with Prime Minister Boris Johnson of the United Kingdom on Tuesday.. And, in addition to pointing out shared priorities – containing COVID-19; sustainable economic recovery; combat climate change; strengthening democracy – Biden expressed “interest in cooperating with the UK, NATO and the EU on shared transatlantic priorities and reaffirmed his support for the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland.”
But not only that. Biden only called four political leaders on Tuesday: Emmanuel Macron, Angela Merkel and the Irish prime minister. Not because of Ireland’s weight in the world, but because it is the party most affected by Brexit and the Good Friday Agreement. Thus, the president-elect informed Micheál Martin that “he hoped to work with the taoiseach [primer ministro irlandés] to address shared challenges such as controlling COVID-19; build a sustainable economic recovery and address climate change. He also reaffirmed his support for the Good Friday Agreement and the Northern Ireland peace process.
And if the personal is political, and the political is personal, it cannot be forgotten that Biden’s mother (Scranton, Pennsylvania, 1942), Catherine Eugenia Finnegan, was of Irish origin and, therefore, was raised in the Catholic religion. Y the Secret Service, when he enters the White House, will call him Celtic, in reference to his Irish roots. These names, the BBC explains, are chosen by the candidate. Trump was Mogul (tycoon) and, according to reports, Kamala Harris, the vice president-elect, has chosen Pionera (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 am Irish!”. He smiled and continued on his way.
Unlike Trump, Biden opposed Brexit. A trade deal with London is not likely 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, it has ruled out such an agreement if the United Kingdom watered 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.
Tommy Vietor, a former spokesman in the Obama administration, of whom Biden was vice president for eight years, replied to Johnson’s congratulations: “We will never forget your racist comments about Obama and your submission to Trump.” Indeed, in 2016, when Johnson was Mayor of London, he pointed out that Obama had replaced a bust of Winston Churchill in the Oval Office with one of Martin Luther King Jr. and attributed it to “the ancestral antipathy of the partly Kenyan president for the British Empire”, explica The New York Times, which also recalls that Johnson once compared Hillary Clinton to Lady Macbeth.
In this context, the United Kingdom and the European Union have resumed negotiations this week, once the count in the United States has been cleared, after having suspended them last Wednesday, and from a telephone conversation this past Saturday between Johnson and the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen in which they found the differences. “Some progress has been made, but there are still big differences, especially on the level playing field and in fishing. Our teams will continue to work hard next week. We will remain in close contact in the next few days, “said Von der Leyen after the conversation.
On the table, the same issues are still pending. The problem is that if the negotiations are not concluded in the next few days, it will be impossible for there to be a current trade agreement between the EU and the United Kingdom on January 1, due to the impossibility of passing the parliamentary procedures in London. “Happy to be back in London,” said the EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier: “Redoubling our efforts to reach an agreement on the future partnership between the European Union and the United Kingdom.”
Barnier listed the three keys to unlocking an agreement: “Respect for the autonomy of the EU and the sovereignty of the United Kingdom, with effective governance and enforcement mechanisms between international partners; strong guarantees of free and fair trade and competition based on shared high standards, which evolve consistently over time; and stable and reciprocal access to markets and fishing opportunities in the interests of both parties ”.
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, now he 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 in its Internal Market law; And last but not least, the human factor remains: Biden’s Irish roots and Johnson’s offenses against Obama.
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