Biden’s positive influence over UK already started: the new US president can soften the hard border issue in Northern Ireland

London, 11 Nov 2020 – If there’s an index of how the advent of Joe Biden is going to impact Britain’s future, that’s the ongoing Brexit trade negotiations with the EU.

While talks stuck at few weeks from 31st December deadline and likely no-deal crash, the UK senate turned down two key points of the contested Internal Market Bill which violates International Law and betrays the Good Friday Agreement with Northern Ireland.

Though the Tories are going to re-vote on that at the Commons over the coming weeks, the new White House chief’s stark dissent over the issue might rebalance pros and cons not only because of the future trade agreement still to be struck with the special relationships partner, or because of Biden’s deep rooted ties with Ireland. 

But also because of the pending legal action started by the EU against the UK, right over those parts of the reckless Bill overriding the withdrawal agreement articles relating to Northern Ireland which lead to a breach of the historic 1998 agreement which stamped the word peace over decades of bloody troubles.

Though shaped in technicalities, the two main issues blocking the UK-EU talks are substantially political:

1) The protection of fishing quotas plays a huge pressure both on Johnson and Macron as the fishing sector would return a favourable outcome of the trade agreement by backing them in the future elections. Macron in primis is facing election next year and, opposite the Channel, the small fishing businesses which en masse backed Brexit want now see their radical stance to turn into the miracle of multiplication of fish or will soon ‘turn their backs on Boris’.

2) Competition is the other main area of disagreement: state aid to business in such times of crisis is going to determine the extent of the recovery. While UK is still in lockdown until December 2nd, GDP collapsed by nearly 20% in second quarter (figures Reuters Sept 2020) unemployment soared to 4.8%; and the figures do not include the millions still on furlough scheme and other support and the millions left out.

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Joe Biden in Dublin – 2016 © Copyright ie.usembassy.gov