17:44 GMT23 November 2020
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    Former Vice President Joe Biden, who defeated incumbent Donald Trump in the November elections, has expressed his adamant support for the Good Friday Agreement that led to a ceasefire in Northern Ireland. This is has led to a shift in attitude in Europe as Britain looks to the US for a post-Brexit trade deal.

    In an interview with BBC Radio on Thursday, Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin said that Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden wants Britain to come to a Brexit trade deal with the European Union, and urged UK Premier Boris Johnson to "knuckle down" in negotiations.

    Martin said that Biden is "very committed to the Good Friday Agreement" and particularly "in relation to Brexit. The Prime Minister said he would "obviously" favour a deal between the European Union and Britain instead of a no-deal exit.

    “And I think that’s where, if I could respectfully say it, that’s where the British government should head, in that direction, in my view. It should knuckle down and ... get a deal with the European Union”, Martin added.

    A Downing Street spokesman said Britain had been working “hard to get a deal with the EU" but stressed that any arrangement has "to be one that respects the UK’s sovereignty”.

    Biden, who was projected by the US media to win the US election, has repeatedly worn his Irish heritage as a badge of pride. The former US vice president has stressed repeatedly that the 1998 'Good Friday' peace agreement, which was overseen by the US,must not be threatened

    The warning came in the wake of a bill proposed by Prime Minister Johnson that would see the Britains's EU withdrawal agreement undermined and has heightened concerns over the UK-Ireland border arrangement.

    Biden reiterated his support for the Good Friday agreement during a phone call with Johnson on Tuesday. The former vice president previously warned that any undermining of the pact by Britain would scupper any chances of a post-Brexit trade deal with the US.

    ​The United Kingdom formally withdrew from the EU in January but the two parties are now seeking to establish the terms of a deal that would define future trading arrangement.

    Government minister Michael Gove said that the UK's chief negotiator David Frost and his EU counterpart Michel Barnier were seeking to come to settlements over disputed areas such as fishing rights and state aid rules.

    “The UK has already shown a great degree of flexibility in these negotiations, but it’s important also that the European Union shows flexibility too,” he said.

    Britain is set to leave the EU's trading structures on 31 December as business representatives warn that an exit without a deal in place would lead to widespread disruption.

    ​According to Martin, Britain's Internal Market Bill, which the UK government has admitted would be in breach of international law, is an indication that Johnson can't be trusted.

    Tags:
    Brexit, Joe Biden, Ireland, Good Friday Agreement
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