Richard Lutz watches storm clouds gather over the Emerald Isle.
Recently, I visited Northern Ireland. The border between that area of the UK and the Republic of Ireland to the south is so liquid, so ephemeral that I really don’t know just how many times I actually crossed.
We wove between counties in the North (ie the UK) and counties in the south (ie The Republic). I think we cross crossed six times in a couple of days as we meandered from Carlingford Loch to Coleraine to Malin Head.
To the president-elect, this would make interesting map reading. And it is all summed up in a telling archive clip I saw as the media reached Biden fever pitch this week.
A BBC reporter was in a camera scrum as Biden entered a private meeting, some time within the past five years. The Beeb guy shouted, “Mr Biden, It’s the BBC here.“
Wow. There goes the fragile backing of a Brexit government. And for that matter a Labour opposition which accepts Brexit as a political reality. As of the 21st January 2021, the White House will not be a happy ally in a non-EU Britain. And nor will it be amused if Boris somehow pulls together a gimcrack agreement over the open border, a border currently free from bureaucracy, tariffs and, more critically, terrorist violence.
He probably privately envisions a united island. And let me tell you, that is not music to Westminster ears. On either side of the political trenches.
Biden’s electorate, being American, is overwhelmingly myopic. After all, three-fifths of US citizens don’t even have a passport. European politics is not on the landscape.
Unless they have Irish or British roots, and care about them, they don’t really take in the cross-border issues which will be a critical stumbling block when the UK really does wave goodbye to the EU in seven weeks.
The new president’s voting base has other things on its mind: the pandemic, the economy, the race divide. The new president backing an EU Ireland and an open border will be his theme. And probably a UK re-entry back into Brussels ASAP as far as he’s concerned. His voting public will just let him get on with it.