Biden Says No Trade Deal With Britain

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi explicitly said Congress would never ratify a trade deal with Britain if the latter breaks international law and compromises the border in Ireland by breaking the Brexit withdrawal agreement. But Pelosi may never have to make that call, however, if Joe Biden is elected in November.

A trade deal would not get through the Biden White House in the first place and reach Congress if British Prime Minister Boris Johnson does the unthinkable.

“We can’t allow the Good Friday Agreement that brought peace to Northern Ireland to become a casualty of Brexit,” Biden said in a tweet on Wednesday.

“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.”

Johnson insists he is defending not threatening the Good Friday pact, which ended three decades of sectarian violence in Northern Ireland between pro-British Protestant unionists and Irish Catholic nationalists.

It seems like things ought to be the other way around, but the issue of maintaining peace in Ireland may be more important to American politicians than it is to Boris Johnson and his conservatives in Britain. Many American officials and lawmakers including Joe Biden himself are of Irish Catholic descent and so are many of their constituents. And unlike conservatives in either country, Democrats actually care about, well, things in general.

This is an easy to call to make for most lawmakers even if they aren't personally invested in the outcome because the truth is a trade deal with Britain barely even matters from any economic perspective.

Britain is a relatively small consumer market for American goods and Americans are not particularly interested in British goods that don't involve alcohol. The economic impact of any trade deal would be negligible at best making this is an almost purely political decision.

If it's an almost entirely political decision, something like comprising the open border in Ireland would make it politically untenable.

The intervention by Biden, who nationwide polls show leading the race for Nov. 3’s U.S. election, prompted a sharp rebuke from an ex-leader of Johnson’s Conservative Party, Iain Duncan Smith, who advised him to focus on “riots” rather than Brexit.

“We don’t need lectures on the Northern Ireland peace deal from Mr Biden,” Duncan Smith told The Times. “If I were him I would worry more about the need for a peace deal in the USA to stop the killing and rioting before lecturing other sovereign nations.”

Look at this asshole.

  • muselet

    … Americans are not particularly interested in British goods that don’t involve alcohol.

    Speaking only for myself, I am keenly interested in HobNobs, Yorkshire Gold tea and Maltesers, and I’m saving my nickels and dimes for a Dyson product or two.

    But, and I can’t emphasize this enough, I’m weird.

    Boris Johnson has a wildly exaggerated sense of Britain’s importance to the world. He still believes, even after having been repeatedly slapped down, the EU will back down in the (doughy) face of his resolve.

    Johnson could be in for a nasty surprise in the coming months.


  • katanahamon

    You know..maybe Biden should actually..Not say things that imply he’s going to win..they give me a very bad feeling..with all the right wing rigging, and now we hear about even more Russian tampering, I’m worried that because we had Obama for eight years, the other side won’t allow any other outcome except four more destructive years..

    • Nefercat

      the other side won’t allow any other outcome except four more destructive years..

      Only four?