US PRESIDENT-ELECT Joe Biden has reiterated his commitment to protecting the terms of the Good Friday Agreement by stressing the importance of keeping the Irish border open after Brexit.
The Irish-American Democrat has made no secret of his desire to protect the peace agreement signed in 1998 from any potential fallout that may occur as a result of the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union.
Speaking to reporters in Wilmington, Delaware, he highlighted the importance of keeping an open Irish border regardless of what is agreed between the UK and EU.
“We do not want a guarded border,” he said.
“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.”
I’ve had a warm and engaging call with US President Elect @joebiden He brings tremendous knowledge & understanding to his new role, and has a great love for his Irish heritage. He underlined his commitment to the Good Friday Agreement & we spoke of importance of multilateralism..
— Micheál Martin (@MichealMartinTD) November 10, 2020
Biden previously spoke to the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a phone call earlier in November in which he warned Johnson that Brexit must not be allowed to jeopardise peace in Northern Ireland.
The call followed on from a previous phone call with Micheál Martin in which the Biden “reaffirmed his full support for the Good Friday Agreement”
A government spokesperson for Martin described the call as a “warm conversation” with Biden recalling his “strong Irish roots” and desire to protect Ireland from the impact of Brexit on the so-called Irish border.
We can’t allow the Good Friday Agreement that brought peace to Northern Ireland to become a casualty of Brexit.
Any trade deal between the U.S. and U.K. must be contingent upon respect for the Agreement and preventing the return of a hard border. Period. https://t.co/Ecu9jPrcHL
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) September 16, 2020
Biden also touched upon the 1998 Good Friday agreement during his election campaign, tweeting in September: “We can’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.”