Joe Biden fires Brexit warning at Boris Johnson saying hard Irish border ‘not right’
The President-elect fired a warning at Boris Johnson (Image: Andrew Parsons / No10 Downing Street)
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Joe Biden has fired a Brexit warning shot at Boris Johnson and stressed the importance of keeping the Irish border open as the end of the transition period looms.
He said it had taken a lot of hard work to reach a settlement on the island of Ireland, ending decades of conflict.
The UK government has threatened to overrule the Brexit withdrawal agreement which committed it to keeping the border open.
Negotiations between the UK and European Union on a post-Brexit trade deal resumed on Monday following technical discussions over the weekend.
The UK is set to end its transition period on December 31 and could still leave without a deal.
Joe Biden made his feelings on the Irish border clear
(Image: Getty Images)
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Speaking to reporters in Wilmington, Delaware, on Tuesday, the President-elect said: "We do not want a guarded border.
"We want to make sure – we've worked too long to get Ireland worked out, and I talked with the British prime minister, I talked with the Taoiseach, I talked with others, I talked to the French.
"The idea of having a border north and south once again being closed is just not right, we've just got to keep the border open."
Mr Biden discussed Brexit with Prime Minister Boris Johnson earlier in November during one of his first phone calls to other world leaders as president-elect, warning him Brexit must not jeopardise the Northern Ireland peace process.
Mr Biden previously touched upon the 1998 Good Friday agreement during his presidential campaign, tweeting in September: "We can't allow the Good Friday Agreement that brought peace to Northern Ireland to become a casualty of Brexit.
Britain's transition period with the EU is set to end on December 31
(Image: AFP/Getty Images)
"Any trade deal between the US and UK must be contingent upon respect for the Agreement and preventing the return of a hard border. Period."
The Government has put forward legislation that would give it the power to change aspects of the EU withdrawal agreement, a legally binding deal governing the terms of Brexit made earlier this year.
The Internal Market Bill is designed to enable goods and services to flow freely across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland after 1 January – when the post-Brexit transition period runs out.
Meanwhile, problematic issues in Brexit negotiations still include fishing rights, the "level playing field" aimed at preventing unfair competition in areas such as workers' rights and state subsidies and the governance of any deal are yet to be resolved.
Britain finally left the EU at the end of January this year, more than three years after the referendum vote following Boris Johnson's election victory in 2019.