Joe Biden says Northern Ireland border must remain open post-Brexit

US President-elect Joe Biden has said that the border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland must remain open after Brexit.

Biden addressed reporters in Wilmington, Delaware on Tuesday (24 November) evening. He was asked by Brian ODonovan, Washington correspondent for RT, about ongoing Brexit negotiations.

We do not want a hard border we worked too hard to get Ireland [and the Troubles] worked out I talked with the British prime minister, I talked with the Taoiseach, I talked with others, I talked to the French the idea of having a border north and south once again being closed is just not right, weve just got to keep the border open

Biden has long expressed his support for maintaining peace and open borders in Northern Ireland amid Brexit talks, having previously said that NI must not become a casualty of Brexit and stressing the importance of upholding the Good Friday Agreement.

He said at the time that any trade deals between the US and the UK would be contingent upon respect for the Northern Ireland peace deal signed in 1998 which helped bring the Troubles to an end.

In September, Boris Johnsons government put forward legislation that violates the Northern Ireland protocol, a measure included in the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement designed to help maintain an open border between NI and ROI.

The controversial Internal Markets Bill allows for UK ministers to unilaterally change conditions of the Withdrawal Agreement. Though the Bill ultimately was passed in the House of Commons, it was roundly rejected by the House of Lords, causing the Bill to rebound back to Commons for further consideration.

More than 10% of the USs population has Irish ancestry and identifies as Irish American. Support for Ireland, and maintaining peace here, has bilateral support in US politics.

Joe Biden has spoken frequently and warmly about his own Irish ancestry, which can be traced back to the counties of Mayo and Louth.

In fact, sources from the Biden camp have said that Ireland could be where the president-Elect makes his first state visit when he assumes office in January 2021.