THE CONSEQUENCES of the US election may seem a world away to many in Fermanagh, but the success of President Elect Joe Biden in last Tuesday’s vote could had a direct impact on lives here in the county.
With concern over the Covid crisis continuing it can be easy to forget Brexit is finally happening on December 31. While a previously agreed mechanism, known as the Irish Protocol, had been agreed as part of the Withdrawal Agreement (WA) to ensure no return to a hard border here, the controversial Internal Markets Bill has thrown uncertainty on that security by breaching parts of the WA.
During his election campaign President Elect Biden, who has strong Irish roots and strong Irish-American support, stressed he was not in favour of the bill. He also stated he would not support any Brexit deal that threatened the Good Friday Agreement (GFA), and that any UK-US post-Brexit trade deal would hinge entirely on peace in the North being protected and a hard border being prevented.
“We can’t allow the Good Friday Agreement that brought peace to Northern Ireland to become a casualty of Brexit,” he said in September, in yet another departure from the views of outgoing President Donald Trump, who was a keen supporter of both Brexit and Prime Minister Boris Johnson. The President Elect has since reiterated this view in his post-election phone call to the Prime Minister.
President Elect Biden’s views on the matter have not gone unnoticed in Downing Street, with both the Prime Minister Johnson and Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab coming out since the election to insist the bill would not endanger the GFA and that they are looking forward to working with President Elect Biden.
To read more on this story and further local reaction to the US election, see this week’s Fermanagh Herald. Can’t get to the shop to collect your copy? No problem! You can download a copy straight to your device by following this link https://bit.ly/3gOl8G0
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