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Biden May Cancel UK Visit if London Does Not Cave to EU on Northern Ireland

Joe Biden may cancel a state visit to the United Kingdom if a deal is not reached on the Northern Ireland Protocol of the Brexit treaty, according to reports.

Former British premier Boris Johnson’s rehashed version of Remain voter Theresa May’s Brexit deal left Northern Ireland — an integral part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, as the name would suggest — effectively still inside the European Union for the purposes of customs and regulations, with EU judges still having jurisdiction in the Province.

An internal border between Northern Ireland and the British mainland overseen by EU officials was erected to enforce this Protocol, resulting in disruptive and disproportionate checks on goods and livestock going from ‘GB’ to ‘NI’ — causing a breakdown of the powersharing devolved executive and legislature for Northern Ireland, as the pro-British unionist parties refuse to participate until their region’s untenable status as half-in, half-out of both the EU and UK is resolved.

Joe Biden, who opposed Brexit and expressed a certain anti-British sentiment in relation to his Irish roots — his family’s English roots being conveniently forgotten — has long pressured the British government not to take action on elements of the Protocol that are clearly not working, however, and appears to be maintaining this pressure by threatening to cancel his state visit to the UK if the Protocol dispute is resolved.

The Daily Telegraph, which is close to Britain’s governing Conservative (Tory) Party, claims “sources in Dublin” have confirmed the 80-year-old American leader will not come unless a deal on the Protocol is reached.

The i newspaper, meanwhile, reports “diplomatic sources” as saying that U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken — roughly equivalent to Foreign Secretary in the United Kingdom — is being prepared to travel to the UK in President Biden’s place if London and Brussels fail to reach an agreement.

The newly-coronated Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, despite his credentials as a Brexit supporter in 2016, does not appear likely to stick to a strong position against continued EU interference in the governance of Northern Ireland and was reported to be an opponent of confronting Brussels when he was a member of Boris Johnson’s Cabinet.

Biden, despite not even being able to get the Prime Minister’s name right, is said to have pushed him on Protocol issues during their very first phone call.

A spokesman for Downing Street quoted by The Telegraph has issued a content-free statement that Prime Minister Sunak and the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, “agreed on the importance of working together to agree a solution” during talks that touched upon the Protocol recently.

 

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