Joe Biden says Ireland visit was to ensure UK didn't 'screw around'May 11, 2023
Joe Biden risks fresh fury from unionists as he says he visited Ireland to ensure Rishi Sunak didn’t ‘screw around’ over Good Friday Agreement
Joe Biden has risked fresh fury from unionists after saying he visited Ireland to stop Rishi Sunak ‘screwing around’ over the Good Friday Agreement.
The US president – who was heavily criticised for his partisan stance during his trip – laid out his thinking at a Democrat event in New York yesterday.
‘I got to go back to Ireland for the, for the, the Irish Accords, to make sure they weren’t, the Brits didn’t screw around and Northern Ireland didn’t walk away from their commitments,’ he said.
Mr Biden was branded ‘anti-British’ after making only a flying visit to Northern Ireland to mark the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement last month, before an extensive tour of the Republic – where he often boasts of having roots.
Joe Biden has risked fresh fury from unionists after saying he visited Ireland to stop Rishi Sunak ‘screwing around’ over the Good Friday Agreement
The US president was heavily criticised for his partisan stance during his trip
He also came under fire for saying during a speech that a distant rugby star relative ‘beat the hell out of the Black and Tans’.
That was a British auxilliary police force in the 1920s, hated by the IRA – although the White House insisted he was just muddling them up with the New Zealand All Blacks team.
Mr Biden also posed for a selfie with Gerry Adams and rebuked the UK for not cooperating more closely with Ireland on Brexit.
His ‘Beast’ limo flew the Irish flag in Dublin – but not the Union Jack in Belfast.
Before setting off for his visit to Belfast, Mr Biden insisted his priority was to ‘keep the peace’ in Northern Ireland.
Former DUP leader Baroness Foster was among those who questioned Mr Biden’s impartiality in the tensions between the Northern Ireland and the Republic.
US officials denied that Mr Biden – who has scotched hopes of a Transatlantic trade deal – is ‘anti-British’.
Cynics have suggested that Mr Biden’s many enthusiastic references to his Irish ancestry are linked to the looming US election campaign.
Mr Biden and Mr Sunak had tea during his flying visit to Northern Ireland last month
Asked about the US president’s remark, the PM official spokesman said: ‘You will know that, obviously, the Windsor Framework was a culmination of substantive work between the UK and the EU, and at its heart the UK priority was always protecting the Good Friday Agreement.
‘We have been consistent on that point throughout and we are pleased that between the UK and the EU we have been able to reach an agreement that works for the people of Northern Ireland, and for the whole of the UK.’
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