Joe Biden ‘inflaming’ Northern Ireland tensions says Mulvaney
The implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol has been a major talking point of Joe Biden’s visit for the G7 summit, with the US President formally reprimanding the UK for “inflaming” Brexit tensions. This has triggered fury among Conservative MPs, who have lashed out at the decision to issue Britain with a demarche – a formal diplomatic dressing-down. Earlier this month, America’s top US diplomat in the UK, Yael Lempert, issued the rebuke to Brexit minister Lord Frost, accusing the Government of rhetoric that risked undermining the Good Friday Agreement.
The Biden Administration has suggested if the UK accepts demands to follow EU rules on agricultural standards – something Lord Frost has refused to do – then Mr Biden would ensure that it would not risk undermining chances of a US free trade deal.
Ahead of a crunch meeting between Boris Johnson and Mr Biden ahead of the G7 summit in Cornwall to discuss UK-US relations, a US official attempted to downplay the demarche, insisting: “He (President Biden) didn’t come here to give a lecture.”
Both leaders have been keen to talk up the progress of the talks, with the US President declaring the special relationship was “stronger than ever”.
But Tory MPs have been left furious by the US apparently siding with the EU on the implementation of the Protocol, which ministers argue is undermining the peace process.
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That fury has been shared by Express.co.uk readers, with one reader raging in reaction to our initial story: “Please send Biden packing. He is no friend of the UK.”
A second person demanded: “Keep your free trade deal Joe, we will not accept it at any cost.
“We are free of the EU rules and laws, and you can stretch a friendship too far.”
Another person urged Mr Johnson to hit back against the US, and said: “Just threaten to close all US air force bases on UK soil.
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“We don’t want them, they are just there to protect America.”
A fourth person simply said: “Bring back Donald Trump.”
The former US President maintained a healthy relationship with Mr Johnson and regularly talked up the prospect of a lucrative US-UK trade deal before he was ousted from the White House by Mr Biden at the end of last year.
Tory MPs have been left fuming at the latest warnings to the UK from President Biden, warning it risks destroying the “special relationship” between the two extremely close allies.
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One told Express.co.uk: “The cognitive decline of the American President appears to mirror the decline of the special relationship.
“I don’t actually believe this is Biden doing this.
“He’s lost the plot again. Somebody is pulling his strings because he’s senile and just hasn’t got it – if he ever had it.”
Another outraged Tory MP told this website the US was picking fights with the wrong people.
They said the Biden administration had issued a rebuke to the UK, one of America’s oldest allies, quicker than it had taken action against Iran or China.
“He’s talking to the wrong people on this one I’m afraid,” the MP said.
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Conservative MP Sir John Redwood said the US President should be siding with the UK against EU over the ongoing row with the Protocol.
He said: “If President Biden wishes to back a good outcome on the island of Ireland he needs to press the EU to respect the UK internal market and the views of the majority in Northern Ireland.
“It is the EU disrupting trade.”
Brexit tensions between the UK and EU soared after talks between Lord Frost and European Commission vice president Maros Sefcovic on Wednesday collapsed over a solution to the implementation of the Protocol.
The EU has threatened to launch a trade war against Britain if it does not implement checks on goods entering Northern Ireland under the terms of the Brexit deal, with Mr Sefcovic warning patience with the UK is wearing “very, very thin”.