US President Joe Biden is expected to tell British Prime Minister Boris Johnson at a bilateral meeting on Thursday that he should resolve the post-Brexit dispute with the EU over Northern Ireland, otherwise there is a risk of escalating domestic tensions that jeopardize 1998 year. Good Friday Agreement.
According to the London Times, the US sent a senior diplomat to London to read to Brexit Minister David Frost the text of a “demarche” – a rare diplomatic reprimand – criticizing London’s stance on border checks between Britain and Northern Ireland.
Frost and European Commissioner Maros Sefkowicz were unable to reach an agreement on Wednesday after four hours of negotiations, prompted by the UK’s insistence on amendments to the “protocol on Ireland” signed by both sides in December, under which London agreed to leave Northern Ireland under the European single. market.
London has threatened to take unilateral steps to overcome the strict controls imposed by the agreement, in particular on meat and agricultural products imported from the UK into Northern Ireland, and the EU has warned that it will then respond with tariffs and other measures.
US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan reiterated in a press briefing on Air Force One before Biden landed in London on Wednesday night that “any move that jeopardizes or undermines the Good Friday agreement will not be welcomed by the US.”
What’s next: Biden has expressed similar sentiments during his presidential campaign, and now he is raising the ante and is more determined to see things through. His warning could be seen as interference from the toughest wing of Johnson’s ruling Conservative Party, the Brexit supporters. But it could also be a trigger that will push Johnson to soften his rhetoric and seek a compromise with the EU.
Biden has said in the past that the UK should not expect to sign a trade deal with the US – as Johnson was eagerly anticipating – if the Good Friday deal collapses due to UK tough stance.
European leaders continued to press the UK to abide by its international commitments and the treaty it signed just six months ago, ahead of Johnson’s G-7 leaders’ summit, which kicks off in Cornwall on Thursday.