When the US election was called for Biden, there was a variety of reactions across not only the US, but the world. Now it is confirmed, it is important to know just how the election results will impact our own country and affairs, most importantly Brexit, which is looming on the horizon. From Biden’s previous comments about Boris Johnson and Brexit, we can see a pattern emerging regarding his views and how this might impact any future trade relations with America. By Ciara Loane
A YouGov poll shows that 59% of Brits believe the election will either have a great impact or fair amount of impact in any Brexit deal. But, what will these implications mean for us as a country and for Brexit?
Biden warned the Government in a tweet that he couldn’t ‘allow the Good Friday agreement that brought peace to Northern Ireland to become a casualty of Brexit… 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’.
This was following Dominic Raab meeting Nancy Pelosi, House Speaker and fierce Democrat, to reassure her that they were not pushing for an Irish hard border post Brexit. Therefore, it seems clear that Joe Biden is willing to put the special relationship between the UK and US under pressure to ensure a fairer Brexit upon the citizens of not only Ireland and Northern Ireland but also of the wider UK and Europe.
It is especially interesting considering Boris Johnson’s previous comments regarding Barack Obama, a man so close to Biden he has referred to him as a ‘brother’ in the past.
It certainly seems that Johnson has a lot of work to put into the relationship between the US and the UK to make it work as Biden’s team has hit out at him publicly in the past. Tommy Vietor, who is close to Biden called him a ‘slavish devotion to Trump’.
Despite this, they have similar stances on climate change and increased support for NATO, and plainly in the current climate, the fight against COVID-19 (which President Trump has unsuccessfully fought half-heartedly at best). Can the two men on the world’s stage put aside their differences to focus on the greater good for their citizens?
As the UK is no longer in the EU, sources have stated that Biden will most likely want to focus his attention on Brussels, Paris and Berlin instead of London in order to bolster the US’s relationship with the EU and if that’s the case, the UK could be pushed to the side-lines. However, a trade agreement is still paramount between the US and the UK due to its geography and security.
Therefore, it seems Biden will be focusing on Europe and the UK as one of his top international policies, and will not be pushing us to the back of the queue when it comes to trade, like Obama once threatened during the run up to the Brexit vote. It is clear however that both men will need to put aside their differences in order to improve the dire state of their countries, from Covid-19 to unemployment and the economy, and they will both need to compromise to do so. The question is, will they?