Joe Biden ‘overlooking EU’s aggressive stance’ in Northern Ireland Brexit row

Joe Biden, the Democrats’ presidential candidate, warned Downing Street that a post-Brexit trade deal with the US “must be contingent upon respect” for the Good Friday Agreement. He also said there must not be a hard border on the island of Ireland, and claimed the peace between Northern Ireland and the Republic must not “become a casualty of Brexit”. His words following the Government’s confession that the Internal Market Bill — if passed — would break international law by overriding the withdrawal agreement.

The agreement was signed last year by the EU and the UK, and included the Northern Ireland Protocol.

The protocol aimed to prevent a trade border on the island of Ireland arising after Brexit by making sure Northern Ireland still had to follow the EU’s single and custom market rules — while still officially leaving the bloc. The customs border would be down the Irish Sea instead.

Yet, Downing Street has insisted that it is “critical” for there to be “unfettered access” between the four countries of the UK, and implied that Mr Biden did not understand its Brexit proposals when he was criticising the proposed new bill.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson also said the Internal Market Bill was a rebuttal to the EU’s threat to banning the importation of goods from Britain to Northern Ireland.

boris johnson joe biden michel barnier

Democrat Joe Biden, EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier and Prime Minister Boris Johnson (Image: Getty)

joe biden us presidential election november

Joe Biden, former Vice-President, is running to be President in the November US election (Image: Getty)

Political commentator Cameron Hilditch has pulled apart Mr Biden’s claim, too, and said he was “wrong” to criticise the Internal Market Bill.

Mr Hilditch said: “If [Biden] would care to look more closely at the issues in question, he would learn that the European annexation of Northern Ireland was never necessary in order to preserve peace in Northern Ireland.

“In fact, it amounts to a far more egregious violation of the Good Friday Agreement than the Internal Market Bill.”

Mr Hilditch explained that the EU Parliament itself had published a 2017 study identifying the technology available for frictionless trade on the Irish border.

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boris johnson leo varadkar withdrawal agreement

Johnson celebrating with the EU after compromising on the withdrawal agreement (Image: Getty)

He therefore claimed: “The EU’s aggressive stance towards Northern Ireland is not born of any concern to avert the need for border infrastructure. It has always been political.”

The political commentator also suggested that the withdrawal agreement already threatened the integrity of the Good Friday Agreement, and then Mr Johnson signed it last year when under pressure and in the hope his Government could change it later.

Indeed, the Good Friday Agreement, which brought an end to the Troubles in 1998, promised that there would be no change to the constitutional status of Northern Ireland afterwards.

This means it would always remain part of the UK — a clause Mr Hilditch suggested is violated by the withdrawal agreement.

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northern ireland protocol customs agreement border

How the customs may have worked under the NI Protocol (Image: Getty)

boris johnson donald trump us

Boris Johnson is thought to have a good relationship with current President Donald Trump (Image: Getty)

Writing in the US outlet, National Review, he claimed: “Contrary to what Joe Biden seems to believe, the Good Friday Agreement has already been flagrantly violated by the European Union, with Boris Johnson coming in clutch in an ignominious assist.”

He went on to debunk the Democrats’ approach to the Irish border in general.

He said: “The Democratic Party has always viewed Ireland through the eyes of their Irish American voters, who in turn view their ancestral homeland in an attenuated, folkloric, and often ahistorical way.”

Mr Biden himself has expressed his own pride in his Irish heritage, and has previously suggested he would prioritise Ireland over Britain after Brexit.

The EU has even breached some of its own trade agreements in the past, according to Conservative Home, such as during the eurozone bailouts which were “expressly prohibited” in European treaties, which undermines its threats to take the Government to court over the new bill.

In contrast to Mr Biden’s staunch opposition to Mr Johnson’s bill, the incumbent President Donald Trump’s secretary of state Mike Pompeo sent a very different message to the UK over the Internal Market Bill.

He appeared to support Downing Street, saying he was sure the UK “will get this right in a way that treats everyone fairly”.



US Election polls tracker: Joe Biden leads in swing states as Trump slips AGAIN

States that usually lean towards a single party are called safe states, as it is generally assumed that a candidate has enough support to draw up a sufficient share of voters in the election.

The main swing states right now are Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wisconsin.

Mr Biden is currently leading in all swing states except Ohio and Iowa, where Mr Trump has a 0.5 and two percent lead, respectively.

The state of Florida has proved a reliable indicator in recent elections.

The southern state has a diverse population, but is generally conservative-leaning and has a high population of older voters.



Meghan Markle dilemma: Joe Biden could cause major difficulties for Sussexes

Currently in the US, long-term capital gains taxes ‒ the tax levied on profit from the sale of a property or investment ‒ are much lower than that on personal income. The top rate for long-term capital gains is 20 percent, while the top rate for personal income is nearly double that at 37 percent ‒ but Mr Biden wants to equalise these by raising capital gains tax. The Democratic nominee has proposed that the top rate of income tax should be raised from 37 percent to 39.6 percent and the top rate for capital gains should rise from 20 percent to 39.6 percent.

He teamed up with Senator Bernie Sanders earlier this year to form a task force that released a 110-page policy document of their plans.

In the document, the task force said their plan is to “use taxes as a tool to address extreme concentrations of income and wealth inequality.

“A guiding principle across our tax agenda is that the wealthiest Americans can shoulder more of the tax burden, including in particular by making investors pay the same tax rates as workers and bringing an end to expensive and unproductive tax loopholes.”

Meghan and Harry, having just signed a huge deal with Netflix estimated at $150million (£113million) and already possessing significant personal wealth, will surely fit into the category of some of the wealthiest people in the US.

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joe biden meghan markle prince harry

Joe Biden could cause difficulties for the Sussexes (Image: GETTY)

prince harry joe biden

Prince Harry with Joe and Jill Biden at the Invictus Games (Image: GETTY)

This change means that if, for example, Harry and Meghan’s Montecito mansion goes up in price or any stock or other asset they own goes up in price, they could be liable to pay far more tax in a Biden administration than a Trump administration.

Nevertheless, it is believed that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are supporting Mr Biden in the election, given Meghan’s previous comments about Donald Trump.

The Duchess branded Mr Trump “misogynistic” and “divisive” in 2016, and this year encouraged people ‒ particularly women ‒ to vote.

She told her followers that if they choose not to vote they are “complicit”.

meghan markle trump

Meghan branded Donald Trump ‘divisive’ and ‘misogynistic’ in 2016 (Image: YouTube – Guardian News)

What’s more, Prince Harry has a personal relationship with Mr Biden, because the former Vice President and his wife Jill have been fervent supporters of the Invictus Games since its inception.

Tax and immigration expert David Lesperance told Express.co.uk that the current tax system vastly favours investors over those who earn a salary.

He compared the income of Warren Buffet ‒ American investor and business tycoon, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway ‒ and that of his assistant.

He said: “When they say Warren Buffett pays a lower rate of tax than his assistant, they are absolutely right because Warren has mostly capital gains, so he is paying at 50 percent of the rate than his assistant is.

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warren buffett

American investor and business tycoon Warren Buffett (Image: GETTY)

“Of course, he can then ask the follow-up question: ‘Would you rather the lower tax rate of Warren’s billions or the ordinary tax rate of $100,000?’

“What the democrats have said as part of their platform ‒ at a minimum ‒ is that they want to eliminate this differential between capital gains and ordinary tax rates.

“So what that means is for Warren Buffett is, he is going to pay effectively twice as much tax as he did last year.”

However, he added that Mr Biden will not be able to unilaterally raise this tax, even if he becomes President.

A change in the tax system would need to be ratified by both the House of Representatives and the Senate.

This is a problem Barack Obama had as President ‒ he only had two years in which Democrats had control of both the House and the Senate, and in the final two years Republicans had control of both.

This meant he experienced significant pushback to many of his policies, resulting in a political stalemate at times, where he was unable to pass key legislation.

Mr Lesperance said: “In a parliamentary system, if the House of Commons says ‘right capital gains will not be equalised with income ‒ assuming the House of Lords doesn’t go bananas and assuming the Queen doesn’t refuse to give royal assent ‒ it will be law.

mitch mcconnell

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell could prove to be a sticking point for Biden (Image: GETTY)

“If Joe Biden says ‘we want this situation’ it has to pass two levels ‒ the House of Representatives, the parliamentary equivalent of the House of Commons, and the Senate, the equivalent of the House of Lords.

“But the Senate is much more active in knocking down things, traditionally, than the House of Lords or the Senate in the Canadian Parliament ‒ they’ve got Mitch McConnell.

“So if Biden wins the presidency and Democrats remain in control of the House with Nancy Pelosi, but the Republicans with Mitch McConnell maintain the Senate, then there’s not going to be a new tax policy.

“But it’s an increasing possibility that the Democrats will sweep all three.”

What’s more, there are a few exemptions in what people pay capital gains tax on.

For example, there are slightly different rules for a person’s primary residence, in that they are allowed $500,000 (£387,000) of tax free capital gains on their home if they are a married couple, which Harry and Meghan obviously are ‒ and $250,000 (£193,000) if they are single.

This means that if Meghan and Harry sold the home they bought for $14.7million (£11.4million) for $15.2million (£11.8million), they still would not pay any capital gains on it.

Mr Lesperance said: “If Biden has his way, if Meghan as a US person and little Archie, who is a US citizen too, make some capital gains or income it will be taxed at the same rate.

santa barbara

Meghan and Harry bought a $14.7million home in Santa Barbara (Image: GETTY)

“Then we look at homes. The one thing people have that generally appreciates in value is their home.

“And most countries, because it’s housing ‒ you can’t sleep under 100 shares of Apple ‒ most countries have special rules relating to capital gains taxation of a home.

“So for the US, depending on the state, they will say ‘you bought this for $14.7million?’

“The US says if, when you sell it and you sell it at a loss, well then there’s no capital gains, but let’s say you sell for $500,000 more, the US says we still don’t tax the first $500,000 of capital gains on your principal residence.

“Oh, you’ve also got a cottage here and a condo here? Those are all secondary residences, you only get the exemption on your primary residence, but then every dollar of capital gains after that you tax at the capital gains rate right now which is half that of income – under the Democrats, it will be the same as income.

“It’s only going to really affect them if a) the house increases in value and b) everything over whatever the exemption is, what is going to be the rate going to be.”



Joe Biden's 'million miles on Air Force Two' boast backfires leaving green vow in tatters

The 77-year-old is aiming to claim victory in November’s US election, and has placed a major emphasis on the environment within his pledges ahead of the vote. Unlike his Republican rival Donald Trump, who is focusing more on the economy, Mr Biden has already told voters he will put in place the Green New Deal on his first day in office if he is elected. He and his vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris have both demanded the US take action on the climate change crisis, with Ms Harris recently saying it was “an existential threat, and confronting it requires bold action”.

The Green New Deal, produced by Senator Edward Markey and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, calls on the federal government to ensure the US decreases the amount of fossil fuels used, while axing greenhouse gas emissions across the economy.

The pact, it is reported, will also hope to create high-paying jobs within the clean energy industry.

But this stance appears at odds with comments Mr Biden previously made surrounding the amount of air travel enjoyed while he was Vice President.

During a trip to Ireland in 2016, Mr Biden said: “Over the course of my life, I’ve been to a lot of places.

Joe Biden's 'million miles on Air Force Two' boast backfires leaving green vow in tatters

Joe Biden’s ‘million miles on Air Force Two’ boast backfires leaving green vow in tatters (Image: GETTY/PA)

Joe Biden's 'million miles on Air Force Two' boast backfires leaving green vow in tatters

Joe Biden’s ‘million miles on Air Force Two’ boast backfires leaving green vow in tatters (Image: GETTY)

“I’ve travelled all around the world – more than a million miles on Air Force Two alone.”

Reports say that flying releases masses of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, as the jet fuel used in the machines emit greenhouse gases into the Earth’s atmosphere.

Greenhouse gases severely damage the environment as they stop heat from escaping from the planet’s atmosphere, causing temperatures to rise, causing devastation in areas such as Antarctica.

Other natural disasters affected by climate change include recent wildfires across the US West Coast, which have so claimed the lives of at least 30 people, and forced tens of thousands out of their homes.

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Joe Biden's 'million miles on Air Force Two' boast backfires leaving green vow in tatters

Joe Biden’s ‘million miles on Air Force Two’ boast backfires leaving green vow in tatters (Image: GETTY)

Charity group, The Climate Coalition, said Mr Biden must choose different forms of transport if he becomes US President to make a good of his green values.

Clara Goldsmith, campaigns director at the organisation, told Express.co.uk: “Mr Biden has an opportunity to set an example through his campaign by opting for clean transport whenever possible, and if he wins the election perhaps he could be the first President to use ‘Rail Force One’.

“Though Mr Biden’s carbon footprint from his air travel is large, it pales in comparison to emissions from the US as a whole which is where our focus should be.

“Therefore we welcome Mr Biden’s plans for a green recovery that cuts the country’s carbon emissions.

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Joe Biden's 'million miles on Air Force Two' boast backfires leaving green vow in tatters

Joe Biden’s ‘million miles on Air Force Two’ boast backfires leaving green vow in tatters (Image: GETTY)

“The devastating wildfires across the US’ West Coast show that the time is now for urgent, global action to protect the people and places we love from the worst impact of the climate crisis, especially ahead of the United Nations climate talks – COP26 – next year.”

The current wildfires are considered by experts as the worst to strike that region in around 18 years, and last week the smoke became so intense it reached Northern Europe.

In the coming days, scientists from the European Commission’s Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service claim, the smoke will again reach the north of Europe.

Mr Trump was widely criticised by environmentalists after he claimed the fires were the result of “poor forest management”, appearing to shift the focus away from climate change.

More recently, Mr Biden hit headlines in the UK after he said Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his Government must respect the Good Friday Agreement, after plans to change aspects of the Brexit withdrawal agreement were discussed.

Mr Biden was referring to the alterations suggested by Mr Johnson to the agreement, which some say could cause major issues on the Northern Irish border.

It put into focus the UK’s wishes to create a trade deal with the US, which Mr Johnson hopes to secure once the UK agrees a pact with the EU.

Betting firm Betfair say that Mr Biden is a 5/6 bet to beat Mr Trump to become President, while the UK has a 40 percent (6/4) chance of getting a trade deal done with the US.

This was down on last week, when odds were placed at 2/5 for an agreement to be reached by 2021.



Joe Biden's 'million miles on Air Force Two' boast backfires leaving green vow in tatters

The 77-year-old is aiming to claim victory in November’s US election, and has placed a major emphasis on the environment within his pledges ahead of the vote. Unlike his Republican rival Donald Trump, who is focusing more on the economy, Mr Biden has already told voters he will put in place the Green New Deal on his first day in office if he is elected. He and his vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris have both demanded the US take action on the climate change crisis, with Ms Harris recently saying it was “an existential threat, and confronting it requires bold action”.

The Green New Deal, produced by Senator Edward Markey and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, calls on the federal government to ensure the US decreases the amount of fossil fuels used, while axing greenhouse gas emissions across the economy.

The pact, it is reported, will also hope to create high-paying jobs within the clean energy industry.

But this stance appears at odds with comments Mr Biden previously made surrounding the amount of air travel enjoyed while he was Vice President.

During a trip to Ireland in 2016, Mr Biden said: “Over the course of my life, I’ve been to a lot of places.

Joe Biden's 'million miles on Air Force Two' boast backfires leaving green vow in tatters

Joe Biden’s ‘million miles on Air Force Two’ boast backfires leaving green vow in tatters (Image: GETTY/PA)

Joe Biden's 'million miles on Air Force Two' boast backfires leaving green vow in tatters

Joe Biden’s ‘million miles on Air Force Two’ boast backfires leaving green vow in tatters (Image: GETTY)

“I’ve travelled all around the world – more than a million miles on Air Force Two alone.”

Reports say that flying releases masses of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, as the jet fuel used in the machines emit greenhouse gases into the Earth’s atmosphere.

Greenhouse gases severely damage the environment as they stop heat from escaping from the planet’s atmosphere, causing temperatures to rise, causing devastation in areas such as Antarctica.

Other natural disasters affected by climate change include recent wildfires across the US West Coast, which have so claimed the lives of at least 30 people, and forced tens of thousands out of their homes.

JUST IN: Brexit breakthrough: Super trade bloc would ‘love working with UK’

Joe Biden's 'million miles on Air Force Two' boast backfires leaving green vow in tatters

Joe Biden’s ‘million miles on Air Force Two’ boast backfires leaving green vow in tatters (Image: GETTY)

Charity group, The Climate Coalition, said Mr Biden must choose different forms of transport if he becomes US President to make a good of his green values.

Clara Goldsmith, campaigns director at the organisation, told Express.co.uk: “Mr Biden has an opportunity to set an example through his campaign by opting for clean transport whenever possible, and if he wins the election perhaps he could be the first President to use ‘Rail Force One’.

“Though Mr Biden’s carbon footprint from his air travel is large, it pales in comparison to emissions from the US as a whole which is where our focus should be.

“Therefore we welcome Mr Biden’s plans for a green recovery that cuts the country’s carbon emissions.

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Joe Biden's 'million miles on Air Force Two' boast backfires leaving green vow in tatters

Joe Biden’s ‘million miles on Air Force Two’ boast backfires leaving green vow in tatters (Image: GETTY)

“The devastating wildfires across the US’ West Coast show that the time is now for urgent, global action to protect the people and places we love from the worst impact of the climate crisis, especially ahead of the United Nations climate talks – COP26 – next year.”

The current wildfires are considered by experts as the worst to strike that region in around 18 years, and last week the smoke became so intense it reached Northern Europe.

In the coming days, scientists from the European Commission’s Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service claim, the smoke will again reach the north of Europe.

Mr Trump was widely criticised by environmentalists after he claimed the fires were the result of “poor forest management”, appearing to shift the focus away from climate change.

More recently, Mr Biden hit headlines in the UK after he said Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his Government must respect the Good Friday Agreement, after plans to change aspects of the Brexit withdrawal agreement were discussed.

Mr Biden was referring to the alterations suggested by Mr Johnson to the agreement, which some say could cause major issues on the Northern Irish border.

It put into focus the UK’s wishes to create a trade deal with the US, which Mr Johnson hopes to secure once the UK agrees a pact with the EU.

Betting firm Betfair say that Mr Biden is a 5/6 bet to beat Mr Trump to become President, while the UK has a 40 percent (6/4) chance of getting a trade deal done with the US.

This was down on last week, when odds were placed at 2/5 for an agreement to be reached by 2021.



Joe Biden 'poised to side with Nicola Sturgeon on Scottish independence'

Ahead of Scotland’s referendum, Mr Biden, the Democrat Party’s candidate to be the next US President, was about to publicly state where he stood on the question of Scottish independence before he caught himself and gave a diplomatic response. His noncommittal comments came the same day former US President Barack Obama strongly indicated he would prefer Scotland to stay in the UK. While appearing in Iowa, the former Vice President said: “I think the United Kingdom, uh, well look, I learned from Scottish friends, the last thing to do is to suggest to a Scot what he should do.

“So I’m going to stay out of that.”

He said of the US and the UK to the Guardian: “We have a great alliance now.”

There was not any risk for Mr Biden to say whether he believed Scotland should remain in the UK, as President Obama had already indicated he preferred Scotland to keep its ties to Britain.

However, if the Vice President said he supported independence, the administration would have been off message.

As the chances of a second Scottish independence referendum increase, with several opinion polls now giving “Yes” campaigners a consistent lead over their unionist rivals, many wonder what position Mr Biden will take on the matter if he becomes US President.

In an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk, Ronald MacDonald, research professor of macroeconomics and international finance at Glasgow University’s Adam Smith Business School, claimed the Democrat will have no choice but siding with Scottish First Minister Ms Sturgeon.

He explained: “I cannot see Joe Biden not supporting Scottish independence.

“He will have to respect the democratic wishes of the Scottish people.”

He noted: “If we are talking about a situation pre-referendum, I am not sure.

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Despite the Democratic nominee continuing to hold his edge over the incumbent in a handful of crucial swing states, national polls are only part of the story.

In 2016, Hillary Clinton trounced Mr Trump in the popular vote by more than 2.8 million votes, but still lost the Electoral College.

The race came down to a series of upset victories by Mr Trump in key swing states, including Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Florida.



Joe Biden's tie to Ireland threatens to destroy UK's post-Brexit dream: 'Dublin's my soul'

The 77-year-old is bidding to become the next US President, and has previously spoken at length over his affinity with Ireland, as his maternal great-grandfather Edward Francis Blewitt was the child of Irish emigrants from County Mayo. Fears were sparked this week after Mr Biden warned the UK that Irish peace cannot become a “casualty of Brexit” amid concerns that the new Internal Market Bill could hinder peace on the island of Ireland. He said that any US-UK trade deal must “respect the Good Friday Agreement”, ensuring that there is no renewed hard border between Northern and the Republic of Ireland.

Mr Biden was referring to the alterations suggested by Prime Minister Boris Johnson to the withdrawal agreement, which some say could cause major issues on the Northern Irish border.

His admiration at having Irish blood is a proud trait he shares with many Americans, and it has previously been claimed that this tie with Ireland could hamper the UK as it looks to secure trade deals.

As a member of the EU, Ireland has a vested interest in what happens next for the UK as it continues negotiations over a trade deal with the bloc.

And experts have previously said that Mr Biden and his love of Ireland would ensure that the EU nation will “not be shafted” in any trade agreements with the US, especially with Mr Biden keen to secure a better relationship with Brussels.

Joe Biden's tie to Ireland threatens to destroy UK's post-Brexit dream: 'Dublin in my soul'

Joe Biden’s tie to Ireland threatens to destroy UK’s post-Brexit dream: ‘Dublin in my soul’ (Image: GETTY)

Joe Biden's tie to Ireland threatens to destroy UK's post-Brexit dream: 'Dublin in my soul'

Joe Biden’s tie to Ireland threatens to destroy UK’s post-Brexit dream: ‘Dublin in my soul’ (Image: GETTY)

When visiting Ireland in 2016, Mr Biden confessed how much the nation meant to him, claiming it is a “country from which my ancestors hailed, and a country whose independence the Easter Rising set in motion, 100 years ago this year”.

He continued: “It is my first dedicated trip to this nation as Vice President – during which I’ll meet with the country’s leaders, discuss issues of trade, economic recovery, migration and refugee policy, and other national security challenges, and celebrate our shared heritage.

“Our shared values of tolerance. Diversity. Inclusiveness.”

The Democrat added: “James Joyce wrote, ‘When I die, Dublin will be written on my heart.’

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Joe Biden's tie to Ireland threatens to destroy UK's post-Brexit dream: 'Dublin in my soul'

Joe Biden’s tie to Ireland threatens to destroy UK’s post-Brexit dream: ‘Dublin in my soul’ (Image: GETTY)

“Well, Northeast Pennsylvania will be written on my heart. But Ireland will be written on my soul.”

During the same trip, Mr Biden condemned the UK for voting to leave the EU during its historic referendum.

He told of how he and then-President Barack Obama had “hoped for a different outcome”, and years later he would explain that if he were an MP he would have voted Remain himself.

Furthermore, Mr Obama even said before the referendum that the UK would “go to the back of the queue”, when the US would look to strike new trade deals as he wanted his administration to focus on securing pacts with the supposed “bigger” EU.

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Joe Biden's tie to Ireland threatens to destroy UK's post-Brexit dream: 'Dublin in my soul'

Joe Biden’s tie to Ireland threatens to destroy UK’s post-Brexit dream: ‘Dublin in my soul’ (Image: GETTY)

Some experts believe this pledge could be backed once again by Mr Biden.

But this belief is completely different to that of incumbent US leader Donald Trump, who was a firm advocate for Brexit and has since pledged to ensure the UK and US would strike a new trade deal.

The worry for Brexiteers and negotiators in the UK, is that should Mr Trump not secure a second term as President, Britain could be stuck without any possible US deals in sight.

This was further examined by American novelist Bonnie Greer, who spoke last year on BBC ‘Question Time’ and waded into the Brexit debate.

Appealing to those on the Remain-side of the debate, Ms Greer claimed that Ireland and the EU would not be affected by Brexit in future deals by the US as “the United States is Irish”.

She said: “If anyone thinks that they’re going to get a deal through and have a trade relationship with the United States that shafts Ireland, you’ve got another thing coming.”

The US has long had ties with Ireland, since the 1820s, when it was predicted around 4.5 million Irish people arrived in America over the next 40 years.

By the 1840s, experts say, the Irish made up around half of all immigrants in the US.

And with Ireland such an ingrained piece of the global power’s identity, it would be unsurprising if Mr Biden opts to support those in Dublin, and ultimately the EU.

It appears this belief is also matched with the public, after Betfair released its latest odds on whether Mr Biden or Mr Trump will secure the presidency.

The betting firm claimed that Mr Biden is a 5/6 bet to beat Mr Trump to become President, while the UK has a 40 percent (6/4) chance of getting a trade deal done with the US.

This was down on last week, when odds were placed at 2/5 for an agreement to be reached by 2021.



US Election 2020: Russia in ‘active efforts’ to spoil Joe Biden’s campaign – FBI warning

The FBI director believes the country wants to see a second Trump victory by “denigrating” Democrat hopeful Joe Biden. He made the accusations while testifying to the US House Homeland Security Committee. US President Donald Trump has long been accused of using Russian interference in the 2016 election to win his presidency. The warnings follow a Senate report released this month about Mr Trump’s links to Russian officials and businesses. Mr Biden has been accused by Mr Trump of having links to China and other foreign powers.

Mr Wray claimed the FBI had witnessed “very active efforts by the Russians to influence our elections in 2020”.

He added concerns about Russia attempting to influence the result of the 2020 election come from fears of a “steady drumbeat of misinformation” through “malign foreign influence in social and state media.”

The director also said the efforts appeared to be “primarily to denigrate vice-president Joe Biden and what the Russians see as kind of an anti-Russian establishment”.

Mr Wray, throughout his testimony to the committee, said the FBI is committed to blocking interference in the election.

READ MORE: Donald Trump dubbed ‘catastrophe’ in jaw-dropping US election warning

 

Mr Wray’s claims contradict Mr Trump’s repeated denials of interference, with the US president labelling the accusations “fake news” and a “witch hunt”.

His testimony also follows an August 7 warning from the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, which held China, Iran and Russia were all trying to interfere in this year’s election.

It also follows a nearly 1,000 page Senate report which laid out links between Mr Trump and Russian officials.

The report concluded the Kremlin “engaged in an aggressive, multifaceted effort to influence, or attempt to influence” the 2016 election, and some Trump associates were keen to accept help from Russia to win.

Mr Wray’s claims echo those voiced by Democrats and security officials in the 2016 elections.

Robert Mueller, former special counsel for the US Department of Justice, issued a series of reports to Attorney General William Barr detailing Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

In 2019, Mr Mueller delivered his final report concluding a two-year probe into alleged Trump campaign collusion with the Russian government.

It found the Russian government “interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion” and “violated US criminal law”, but cleared Mr Trump of any collusion with the Russian government.

When the Mueller Report was released, then-White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said: “The report was clear — there was no collusion, no conspiracy — and the Department of Justice confirmed there was no obstruction.”

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Mr Trump has recently attempted to attack Mr Biden’s campaign by tying him to China.

On September 7, the US president said China was interfering in the election by encouraging Black Lives Matter protesters.

After sharing an article about China “favouring” Mr Biden, he said on Twitter: “Of course they want Biden.

“I have taken $Billions from China and given it to our Farmers and US Treasury.”

He added, referencing a conspiracy about the nominee’s son Hunter Biden’s links to Ukraine and China: “China would own the US if Biden & Hunter got in!”

Mr Wray also testified about Chinese interference and Beijing spying.

He claimed the FBI opens a new counterintelligence investigation to counter Chinese attempts to steal US information and technology “every 10 hours”.

The director also revealed the FBI was conducting investigations into domestic terrorism following months of protests following the death of George Floyd on May 23.

The director claimed the largest “chunk” of investigations were into white supremacist groups.



US Election 2020: Russia in ‘active efforts’ to spoil Joe Biden’s campaign – FBI warning

The FBI director believes the country wants to see a second Trump victory by “denigrating” Democrat hopeful Joe Biden. He made the accusations while testifying to the US House Homeland Security Committee. US President Donald Trump has long been accused of using Russian interference in the 2016 election to win his presidency. The warnings follow a Senate report released this month about Mr Trump’s links to Russian officials and businesses. Mr Biden has been accused by Mr Trump of having links to China and other foreign powers.

Mr Wray claimed the FBI had witnessed “very active efforts by the Russians to influence our elections in 2020”.

He added concerns about Russia attempting to influence the result of the 2020 election come from fears of a “steady drumbeat of misinformation” through “malign foreign influence in social and state media.”

The director also said the efforts appeared to be “primarily to denigrate vice-president Joe Biden and what the Russians see as kind of an anti-Russian establishment”.

Mr Wray, throughout his testimony to the committee, said the FBI is committed to blocking interference in the election.

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Mr Wray’s claims contradict Mr Trump’s repeated denials of interference, with the US president labelling the accusations “fake news” and a “witch hunt”.

His testimony also follows an August 7 warning from the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, which held China, Iran and Russia were all trying to interfere in this year’s election.

It also follows a nearly 1,000 page Senate report which laid out links between Mr Trump and Russian officials.

The report concluded the Kremlin “engaged in an aggressive, multifaceted effort to influence, or attempt to influence” the 2016 election, and some Trump associates were keen to accept help from Russia to win.

Mr Wray’s claims echo those voiced by Democrats and security officials in the 2016 elections.

Robert Mueller, former special counsel for the US Department of Justice, issued a series of reports to Attorney General William Barr detailing Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

In 2019, Mr Mueller delivered his final report concluding a two-year probe into alleged Trump campaign collusion with the Russian government.

It found the Russian government “interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion” and “violated US criminal law”, but cleared Mr Trump of any collusion with the Russian government.

When the Mueller Report was released, then-White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said: “The report was clear — there was no collusion, no conspiracy — and the Department of Justice confirmed there was no obstruction.”

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Mr Trump has recently attempted to attack Mr Biden’s campaign by tying him to China.

On September 7, the US president said China was interfering in the election by encouraging Black Lives Matter protesters.

After sharing an article about China “favouring” Mr Biden, he said on Twitter: “Of course they want Biden.

“I have taken $Billions from China and given it to our Farmers and US Treasury.”

He added, referencing a conspiracy about the nominee’s son Hunter Biden’s links to Ukraine and China: “China would own the US if Biden & Hunter got in!”

Mr Wray also testified about Chinese interference and Beijing spying.

He claimed the FBI opens a new counterintelligence investigation to counter Chinese attempts to steal US information and technology “every 10 hours”.

The director also revealed the FBI was conducting investigations into domestic terrorism following months of protests following the death of George Floyd on May 23.

The director claimed the largest “chunk” of investigations were into white supremacist groups.



Joe Biden's Brexit intervention 'misunderstands' Good Friday Agreement

Mr Biden, the Democrat Party’s candidate to be the next US President, has weighed into the controversy over the UK’s new Brexit bill. The former US Vice President warned of its complications for a future UK-US trade deal, adding to concerns among senior American politicians that changes associated with the Internal Market Bill would undermine the Good Friday Agreement. Mr Biden wrote on Twitter: “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.”

Unearthed reports, though, suggest Mr Biden does not fully understand the 1988 accord.

In a recent report for the Financial Times, former Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith explained how the Internal Market Bill actually protects the integrity of the UK and the Good Friday Agreement.

He wrote: “What critics seem to have forgotten is that the Brexit agreement makes clear that Northern Ireland is part of the UK’s customs territory. Goods should be allowed to flow between Great Britain and Northern Ireland without tariffs unless they are deemed ‘at risk’. The problem is that the ‘at risk’ category is not defined.

“This gives the EU too much discretion because it could in theory define all UK products as ‘at risk’ if it wishes and levy tariffs on all goods as they cross the Irish Sea. Such a possibility is contrary to the Act of Union that underpins Northern Ireland’s status within the UK and abolishes all customs duties between the constituent parts of the UK.”

He added: “Introducing customs duties between Great Britain and Northern Ireland would alter the constitutional status of Northern Ireland within the UK.

“In doing so, it would obviously breach the 1998 Good Friday Agreement that brought peace to Northern Ireland. That settlement states that Northern Ireland’s status cannot be changed without the consent of its people.

“Surely, if the EU didn’t intend this — and it has stated constantly that they wish to preserve the peace accord — then it has no reason to object to a UK law that blocks such a prospect.”

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It is not the first time a US Democrat has made such a claim regarding the Good Friday Agreement.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi made a similar statement last week.

In April 2019, she also warned there would be no post-Brexit trade deal between the US and the UK if any “harm” came to the 1998 accord.

She said the deal “ended 700 years of conflict” and was “a model to the world”.

However, at the time, her words sparked a furious reaction from Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) peer Lord Empey – who was his party’s lead negotiator on the parts of the agreement which set up Northern Ireland’s government structures.

The peer hit out at her for her “complete misunderstanding”.

He said Congress had been “hypnotised” by the views espoused by the Irish government, which was using “the Good Friday Agreement as a tool” throughout the entire process.

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Ms Pelosi’s position, he claimed, seemed to be that the “UK should have done what the Republic’s government wanted” or forfeit a trade deal – a position Lord Empey likened to “an attempt to blackmail people”.

He also wondered where Ms Pelosi had developed her understanding of the agreement’s content.

Lord Empey told NewsLetter: “It’d be helpful if the Speaker actually spoke to some people who negotiated the agreement.

“Because some of the proposals in the withdrawal agreement – including the backstop – actually are an attack on [the 1998 deal]…

“I’ve never come across a time when there’s been so many experts on the Good Friday Agreement.

“Yet most of the people who’re spouting about it weren’t within a mile of it.”