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Politics Brexit - Joe Biden's warning to Boris Johnson

19:30  17 september  2020
19:30  17 september  2020 Source:   lepoint.fr

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

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Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden tweeted last week: “We can’t allow the Good Friday Agreement that brought peace to Northern Ireland to become a Commentator and the co-author of ‘An Agenda for Northern Ireland After Brexit ‘, Owen Polley, branded Mr Biden ' s criticisms as "absurd".

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  Brexit – L'avertissement de Joe Biden à Boris Johnson © Provided by Le Point

This is one more warning, but one that has its weight: Joe Biden, the Democratic candidate for the White House, pressed in a tweet Wednesday evening the approach of several members of Congress to warn Boris Johnson that the protocol on Northern Ireland, concluded with Europe, should not be called into question, otherwise the trade treaty between the United Kingdom and the United States would be compromised.

"We cannot allow the Good Friday agreement that brought peace to Northern Ireland to become a victim of Brexit," writes Donald Trump's rival. Any trade agreement between the United States and the United Kingdom must be conditional on compliance with the agreement and prevent the return of a physical border. Period. "

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Joe Biden thus gives his support to a letter sent to Boris Johnson by the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Eliot Engel, co-signed by William Keating (elected Democrat, chairman of the Europe subcommittee), Richard Neal (elected Democrat, chairman of the Ways and Means Committee), and Peter T. King (elected Republican of New York). A bipartisan approach which shows how much the Irish lobby has mobilized since the tenant of 10 Downing Street plans to pass a law that will allow the British to override international treaties, and in particular the protocol on Northern Ireland signed with the European Union as part of the EU Withdrawal Agreement.

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BORIS JOHNSON has sent the EU an extraordinary Brexit warning after publishing his five red lines over his UK Internal Market Bill. It came as US presidential candidate Joe Biden insisted the Good Friday peace deal in Northern Ireland cannot become a "casualty" of Brexit .

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This warning is not to be taken lightly, because even if Donald Trump were to win on November 3, the support of the Democrats is essential to any trade agreement between the United Kingdom and the United States. The procedure for ratifying treaties across the Atlantic is governed by article 2 section II of the Constitution of 1787. “The president shall have the power to conclude treaties with the advice and consent of the Senate, provided that two-thirds of the Senators present approve it. This provision effectively grants a blocking minority to Democratic senators. It is therefore a shared, bipartisan power that limits the prerogatives of the President of the United States.

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Casus belli

The American Senate, elected for 6 years, is made up of 100 members. Currently, Republicans hold 53 seats, Democrats 45, and independents have 2 seats left. It will therefore take 67 votes for the President of the United States, whether it is Donald Trump or Joe Biden, to pass a free trade agreement with the United Kingdom.

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As evidenced by Eliot Engel's letter, Americans were very concerned about the fate of Ireland and Northern Ireland during the Brexit negotiations. They see themselves as guarantors of peace in Ireland and any attempt by the UK to undermine the Good Friday deal is seen as a casus belli notwithstanding the "special relationship" between Washington and London.

Playing with matches

Boris Johnson had arguably not anticipated that prominent representatives of the United States would link the issue of Brexit to the Anglo-American trade relationship. The Irish question, after having poisoned relations with Brussels for three years, could also be a decision in relations with Washington. It should be remembered that the conflict in Northern Ireland killed at least 3,000 people. The border between the two Ireland was militarized before the Good Friday peace agreement. Playing with matches on this powder keg is not prudent and this is what Michel Barnier, the European negotiator, keeps repeating.

For his part, in London, Boris Johnson found a compromise with the rebellious Tory deputies. In its draft law on the internal market, it will be up to Parliament (and not to ministers) to vote on a case-by-case basis on the provisions which will be in contravention of international treaties. But this small internal political arrangement will not be enough to empty the dispute born with Brussels and now part of the American political establishment.

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For some, "Bojo" has, in reality, no intention of going to the end. “ He uses the strategy of the diagonal of the madman , we comment in the corridors of Brussels. That is to say, he does anything to frighten the Europeans so that they throw themselves on the first reasonable proposal he makes. Isn't it the same negotiating technique that he used during the withdrawal agreement? He had threatened for months the EU with an exit without agreement and finally, in the dying moments, accepting a border in the Irish Sea with control by British customs officials. Will the story of the hard-hitting standoff with a reasonable conclusion repeat itself?

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