Joe Biden’s Brexit warning on Northern Ireland must be heeded by Boris Johnson – The Yorkshire Post says

PRESIDENT JOE Biden should not be condemned by Brexiteers like George Eustice for expressing concern about the future of Northern Ireland – and making it integral to any UK-US trade deal.

This was President Joe Biden and Boris Johnson during White House talks this week on a range of issues, including the post-Brexit future of Northern Ireland.

Quite the opposite. President Biden, who is proud of his Irish ancestry, should be respected for his insistence that nothing is done which imperils the Good Friday Agreement and still fragile peace process – typical hallmarks of any critical friend in a ‘special relationship’.

This remains one of the great legacies of President Bill Clinton and his willingness to work with, first, Sir John Major, and then Tony Blair, to end decades of sectarian bloodshed.

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The regret is Brexit advocates like Boris Johnson – and Mr Eustice – were so dismissive of Sir John, and Mr Blair, when they made a joint visit to Derry during the 2016 referendum to highlight the risks if the UK left the EU.

This was President Joe Biden and Boris Johnson during White House talks this week on a range of issues, including the post-Brexit future of Northern Ireland.

And, ironically, it was Northern Ireland – and Ministers like Mr Johnson, who was Foreign Secretary at the time, became the stumbling block to Theresa May’s attempts to agree a Brexit plan that respected a hard-won peace.

This much is clear from the insider’s account of the May administration published by Gavin Barwell, her chief of staff, this month. He describes how Mr Johnson and Gavin Williamson – the then Defence Secretary – warned Mrs May that she “shouldn’t compromise the benefits of Brexit to satisfy Ireland”.

In subsequent exchanges, Lord Barwell reveals how Mr Johnson, at another tempestuous meeting, questioned why the Government had “agreed to all this mumbo jumbo about Northern Ireland”.

Rather than mocking President Biden, perhaps Mr Eustice and his like-minded supporters should save their ire for a Prime Minister who continues to under-estimate the future security of Northern Ireland at his peril.

This was President Joe Biden and Boris Johnson during White House talks this week on a range of issues, including the post-Brexit future of Northern Ireland.

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