Biden says Brexit dispute can’t lead to ‘closed Border’ in Ireland

The US president says he does not want to see a “closed Border again” on the island of Ireland, due to the post-Brexit row.

Joe Biden made the comments during a meeting with British prime minister Boris Johnson in the White House yesterday.

Mr Biden says he does not want Brexit to damage the peace process here.

He says he also feels very strongly about protecting the Northern Ireland Protocol.

“We spent an enormous amount of time and effort in the United States [on the peace process], it was a major bipartisan effort and I would not at all like to see — nor I might add would my Republican colleagues like to see — a change in the Irish accords with the end result having a closed Border again.”

The European Union has continually said that the protocol cannot be renegotiated.

However, it is committed to fixing any “practical problems” that people and businesses in Ireland have been presented with because of Brexit.

Meanwhile, Taoiseach Micheál Martin has praised Mr Biden’s speech to the UN General Assembly and cited him as a key ally on tackling climate change and Covid-19.

Mr Martin, speaking to reporters in New York, called Mr Biden a “committed multilateralist at heart”.

US president Joe Biden during a meeting with British prime minister Boris Johnson, in the Oval Office of the White House, Washington DC, during his visit to the United States for the United Nations General Assembly. Picture date: Tuesday September 21st, 2021.

On Tuesday, the US president used his first address before the UN General Assembly to declare that the world stands at an “inflection point in history” and must move quickly to act on the Covid-19 pandemic, climate change and human rights abuse.

Mr Martin praised Mr Biden, who has frequently cited his own love of Ireland and his own Irish ancestry.

The Taoiseach said that Mr Biden emphasised issues important to Ireland, such as climate change and the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as the importance of safeguarding democracy and freedom of expression.

Asked by reporters what message Mr Biden would have for Mr Johnson on Brexit, Mr Martin said: “He has been very consistent in terms of the messaging he has given Boris Johnson and the UK in relation to the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol.” — Additional reporting from Press Association