PM: UK and US to ‘work through’ concerns over Biden’s package of green subsidies

The UK and US will “work through” concerns about Joe Biden’s multibillion-dollar package of green subsidies, Rishi Sunak said ahead of talks with the US president.

The Prime Minister welcomed the Biden administration’s commitment to tackling climate change, but said the UK had already raised concerns about the measures in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).

The 430 billion US dollar (£357 billion) package is an attempt to make the economy environmentally friendly with tax credits for green technology.

But it has strained relations with European economies, including the UK, which have been frozen out of US markets, with Business Secretary Kemi Badenoch calling it “protectionist”.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak speaks to members of the travelling media during his flight to San Diego in the US
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak speaks to members of the travelling media during his flight to San Diego in the US (Leon Neal/PA)

“Those are conversations that the Government has been having with them for a while and will continue to have.”

Mr Sunak confirmed he would use the talks with Mr Biden to formally invite him to visit Northern Ireland to mark the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement.

The visit by the president, who often highlights his Irish roots and has taken a keen interest in issues related to the agreement, would be expected to take place around the anniversary in April.

The trip by Mr Biden has long been anticipated and the agreement of the Windsor Framework with the European Union, which is aimed at resolving Northern Ireland’s post-Brexit difficulties, could help ensure it happens.

In Stormont, the DUP is blocking the operation of the institutions created by the Good Friday Agreement in protest at the Northern Ireland Protocol, the post-Brexit arrangements the Windsor Framework is designed to replace.

US President Joe Biden
US President Joe Biden (Leon Neal/PA)

On his plane to the US, Mr Sunak said: “I’ll be keen to invite him to come. He hasn’t confirmed yet. But it will be something that obviously I’ll be talking to him about.

“Hopefully he will be able to make it, so that will be a nice way, we’ve got this very important milestone, to commemorate and celebrate – the 25th anniversary.

“And that’s why the Windsor Framework was such a positive step.

“It was very important to me to try and bring resolution to some of the challenges of the protocol have been having on the ground in Northern Ireland and do the right thing for the people and businesses there.

“I think the Windsor Framework delivers that and has removed a major issue.”

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