The White House has announced that Vice President Joe Biden will meet with Prime Minister Liz Truss to encourage her to engage with the EU to ease concerns about Northern Ireland’s commercial arrangements in the wake of Brexit.
On Wednesday, when Ms. Truss returns from her trip to New York for a United Nations session, the two will meet for the first time bilaterally.
The UK’s contentious proposals to ignore the Northern Ireland Protocol have exacerbated tensions between the two presidents.
Ms. Truss has pledged not to “drift” on the deal’s issues.
In her remarks to the press in New York, she emphasized the need of facilitating “free-flowing commerce east to west as well as north to south” and resolving the challenges that have delayed the establishment of a new administration in Northern Ireland.
Mr. Biden and Ms. Truss have both said that it would be better for London and Brussels to seek a solution to their disagreement over the protocol, which was signed while Boris Johnson was prime minister.
What Ms. Truss Said “My preference has always been and will remain for a negotiated resolution of those matters. But I won’t stand for things to just kind of wander here.”
On Tuesday, US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters that Trump will lobby the UK and the EU to strike a deal to safeguard the Good Friday Agreement, the peace agreement that ended the conflict in Northern Ireland.
No. 10 did not specify if Ms. Truss would bring up the protocol with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, and she refused to address it with French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday.
Although Mr. Sullivan made it apparent that Mr. Biden would discuss this issue “in some depth” with Ms. Truss at their meeting in New York before to her talk to the UN General Assembly, it is important to note that Mr. Biden is not a member of the Cabinet.
To that end, Mr. Biden will “convey his strong opinion that the Good Friday Agreement — which is the touchstone of peace and stability in Northern Ireland — must be safeguarded,” according to a statement from his aide.
Post-Brexit, the Northern Ireland Protocol was established to facilitate unique commercial ties between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
To prevent a hard border between the United Kingdom and Ireland after Brexit, it ensures that Northern Ireland remains part of the EU’s single market for goods.
Since it went into effect at the beginning of 2021, however, it has been a cause of contention.
As a result of the Democratic Unionist Party’s (DUP) opposition to the protocol and refusal to participate in a power-sharing government until its objections are satisfied, Northern Ireland currently has no functional devolved administration.
In a statement released earlier this week, the UK government reiterated its intention to defer customs inspections on goods travelling from Great Britain to Northern Ireland despite continued legal action from Brussels.
Despite claims that it would violate international law by suspending sections of the arrangement on which the UK left the EU, the government is moving forward with its contentious Northern Ireland Protocol Bill.
Prime Minister May’s admission that a trade agreement between the United Kingdom and the United States was still far off was seen as an effort to neutralise allegations from the White House that her attitude on the protocol may derail any deal, according to BBC political editor Chris Mason.
On Tuesday, Mr. Biden tweeted that he was “sick and tired of trickle-down economics,” referring to the idea that if you lower taxes for corporations and the affluent, eventually the money would flow down and help the poor.
Ahead of their meeting, the political contrasts between the two leaders are highlighted by a statement that was clearly not meant as a criticism of Ms. Truss. It is “ludicrous,” according to the prime minister’s official spokesperson, to assume that Mr. Biden was referring to Ms. Truss in his tweet.
Gillian Keegan, a minister at the Foreign Office, said that Mr. Biden’s tweet was about the US economy and not the UK.
She said on BBC Breakfast, “I don’t believe it’s a reflection on our policies because there’s no way you could call our strategy as trickle down.” She went on to say that the government had recently put in place a “huge package” to help the poor.
In recent weeks, the Prime Minister has stated his intention to reduce taxes, stating that doing so would improve the country’s economic development and prosperity.
The meeting between Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Truss was initially supposed to take place in London on Sunday, when the President arrived in the UK for the burial of Queen Elizabeth II.