Biden: Irish visit was to ensure ‘Brits didn’t screw around’

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Joe Biden has claimed that he visited the island of Ireland last month to ensure the “Brits didn’t screw around”.

The US President made the comments at a Democratic Party event in New York on Wednesday.

Mr Biden, who has long been proud of his Irish roots, made the four-day trip to both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland last month.

The US President used his visit to the island to say that he believed that the UK should be working more closely with the administration in Dublin to support Northern Ireland.

The trip saw Mr Biden meet briefly with UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in Belfast, before undertaking a series of engagements across the Republic that culminated in a homecoming event in Ballina, Co Mayo that saw him celebrate his ancestral links to the town.

President Biden visit to the island of Ireland
US President Joe Biden has long been proud of his Irish roots (Brian Lawless/PA)

The Windsor Framework has not so far seen powersharing return in Northern Ireland, with Stormont still collapsed after the Democratic Unionist Party pulled out of the institutions amid anger at the post-Brexit arrangements in Northern Ireland.

Mr Biden, whose trip coincided with the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, made clear his hope that power sharing could soon be restored.

Downing Street said that Mr Sunak’s Brexit deal with the EU was about “protecting” the Good Friday Agreement, when asked about the remarks.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman, asked about the US President’s remarks, said: “You will know that, obviously, the Windsor Framework was a culmination of substantive work between the UK and the EU, and at its heart the UK priority was always protecting the Good Friday Agreement.

“We have been consistent on that point throughout and we are pleased that between the UK and the EU we have been able to reach an agreement that works for the people of Northern Ireland, and for the whole of the UK.”

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