Biden warns United Kingdom on Irish border

Boris Johnson giving a speech in Belfast earlier this year

Biden on Wednesday echoed fears in Washington that a new U.K. Brexit bill, which would override the Withdrawal Agreement signed with the European Union past year, could result in a hard land border between Northern Ireland (part of the U.K.) and Ireland (an E.U. member) - and destabilize the peace brought by the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.

On Tuesday, four US Congressmen in a letter to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the plans to give ministers powers to override part of the UK's exit agreement, created to avoid a hard Irish border. could have "disastrous consequences for the Good Friday Agreement and broader process to maintain peace on the island of Ireland".

In a tweet posted on Wednesday (September 16) Biden said "We can't allow the Good Friday Agreement that brought peace to Northern Ireland to become a casualty of Brexit".

It listed examples of what it said would constitute such behaviour, including if the European Union insisted on export declarations for goods sent to Great Britain from Northern Ireland. The US played a key role in brokering peace in the province. It was a peace agreement between the British and Irish governments, and most of the political parties in Northern Ireland, on how Northern Ireland should be governed. "[We] welcomed his assurances but reiterated the same message that we delivered to the leaders of the UK in London a year ago: if the UK violates its global agreements and Brexit undermines the Good Friday accord, there will be absolutely no chance of a US-UK trade agreement passing the Congress", it said.

"Our commitment to the Good Friday Agreement and to avoid any extra infrastructure at the border between the north and the south is absolute", he said at a press conference in Washington, alongside Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

"We've been crystal clear all along, we're committed to it. Rest assured, we want to resolve the issues with our European partners, but there is not going to be any hard border [in Ireland], certainly not applied by the United Kingdom". "I am confident they'll get it right", he said after meeting Raab. They say such a reneging on an global agreement would damage the nation's trustworthy reputation. "We will continue to engage with our USA partners on a bipartisan basis to ensure our positions are understood", they said.

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The EU's Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier told the bloc's 27 national envoys on Wednesday he was still optimistic, three diplomatic sources told the Reuters news agency.

European Commission chief spokesman Eric Mamer said: "We have as you know set out a position extremely clearly, it is in our statement and it relates to those clauses being withdrawn from the law".

"I am confident they will even if it means opting for a no deal".

The British parliament is being given a say over the use of post-Brexit powers within the bill.

However, the prime minister's intention to break worldwide law riled dozens of Conservative MPs, leading him to agree to a compromise in which he must secure parliamentary approval before enacting his plan for Northern Ireland. Lost amid all the noise this week, the United Kingdom negotiators appeared ready to compromise on the tricky issue of post-Brexit EU fishermen's access to United Kingdom waters.

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