Irish stew: Biden, Brexit, Boris and borders

Richard Lutz watches storm clouds gather over the Emerald Isle.

Irish crossing

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.


Biden half turned, wryly smiled and said, “I’m Irish.” The inference was he doesn’t playing by the accepted British media norms. His brain is 100% shamrock.

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.


5 thoughts on “Irish stew: Biden, Brexit, Boris and borders

  1. It will be interesting to see when Biden’s camp makes its first official mention of a small and diminishingly significant island off the north west coast of Europe (no… not Ireland).

  2. From day one it was obvious that the contradiction between Brexit And The Northern Ireland Peace Agreement was unsolvable.

    Yesterday was a Great Day For Ireland and a Bad Day for Brexit and Boris

  3. There are 5 million Irish. 65+million British.
    The Good Friday Agreement is no more than a sop to terrorists. Are we to be castigated for preserving the union with NI rather than bend the knee to the IRA?
    Our country does have a border with Ireland. We’re not going to close it so who’s at fault if they do? Hardly us.
    Will USA not agree a trade deal with the fifth largest economy on the planet because Joe Biden self identifies as Irish? Hardly, he’s supposed to be batting for USA.
    So how Irish is Joe Biden?
    Well, of his 8 great grandparents two were men who emigrated from Ireland in the mid 19th century. So he is one eighth Irish and 7 eighths American. What absolute nonsense. I’m (much) more Irish than he is and I don’t doubt that millions who identify as British are too. Do you cling to whatever nationality only two of your great grandparents might have had before emigrating?
    Perhaps Mr. Biden should remember which side his bread is buttered on and be a proud American rather than a pretend Irishman

  4. I cannot see the UK’s problems with the EU and the Ireland issue being very high on Biden’s agenda; he has made it clear that he cannot understand why we went for Brexit. With around 70 million folks voting for Trump, Biden clearly has some heavy lifting to do internally,

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