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Biden lands in UK with message for Johnson: Defuse post-Brexit tensions over N. Ireland

Biden lands in UK with message for Johnson: Defuse post-Brexit tensions over N. Ireland

U.S. President Joe Biden will bring a grave Brexit warning to his first meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson: Prevent a row with the European Union from imperilling the delicate peace in Northern Ireland. On his first trip abroad since taking office in January, Biden meets Johnson on Thursday in the English seaside resort of Carbis Bay ahead of a Friday-Sunday G7 summit, a NATO summit on Monday, a U.S.-EU summit on Tuesday and a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva the following day.

Biden will try to use the trip to burnish his multilateral credentials after the tumult of Donald Trump’s presidency, which left many U.S. allies in Europe and Asia bewildered and some alienated. Biden, though, has an uncomfortable message for Johnson, one of the leaders of the 2016 Brexit campaign: Stop heated EU divorce negotiations from undermining a 1998 U.S.-brokered peace deal known as the Good Friday Agreement that ended three decades of bloodshed in Northern Ireland.

Britain’s exit from the European Union strained the peace in Northern Ireland to breaking point because the 27-nation bloc wants to protect its markets, yet a border in the Irish Sea cuts off the British province from the rest of the United Kingdom. Northern Ireland shares a border with EU member Ireland. Such is Biden’s concern over Northern Ireland that Yael Lempert, the top U.S. diplomat in Britain, issued London with a demarche – a formal diplomatic reprimand – for “inflaming” tensions, the Times newspaper reported.

Biden lands in UK with message for Johnson: Defuse post-Brexit tensions over N. Ireland, Bloomberg, Jun 11

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