At the G7 Summit, Joe Biden could publicly chastise Britain over Ireland tensions.
In the midst of a debate over post-Brexit customs checks in Northern Ireland, President Joe Biden instructed US diplomats to admonish the UK for “inflaming” tensions in Ireland and Europe.
According to The Times, the US Charge d’Affaires Yael Lempert told UK minister Lord Frost that the Biden administration was “increasingly anxious” about the customs checks standoff.
She also pushed the UK government to achieve a “resolution” with the EU over chilled meats entering Northern Ireland, saying Biden expected to discuss the issue publicly at the G7 summit in Cornwall.
The US was “increasingly concerned about the stalemate on implementing the [Northern Ireland] protocol,” according to a leaked UK government paper acquired by The Times, and feared the debate was “undermining the faith of our two important allies.”
The New York Times also stated that Lempert had been instructed to issue a demarche to the United Kingdom, a formal diplomatic reprimand that may cast a pall over the G7 summit this week.
Lord Frost allegedly retorted that European Union leaders prioritized the bloc’s single market over Northern Ireland peace, urging the Biden administration to meet with European leaders.
The Foreign Office of the United Kingdom has been contacted by Washington Newsday for more comment. The US embassy in London was contacted for response as well.
The United Kingdom and the European Union are at odds over customs inspections on goods transiting between the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, which both parties agreed to during the Brexit discussions.
Although the United Kingdom does not adhere to EU product standards, Northern Ireland does because it shares a border with the Republic of Ireland, which is a member of the European Union. As a result, the EU wants the United Kingdom to impose customs checks on goods arriving at Northern Ireland ports.
However, cold meats such as sausages are prohibited from entering the EU market from non-member countries, causing difficulties. The United Kingdom wants the protocol streamlined so that it can continue to send such items to Northern Ireland.
Jake Sullivan, President Biden’s National Security Adviser, said the two parties have to find a way to go forward on Wednesday without jeopardizing the Good Friday Agreement, which brought peace to Northern Ireland.
The European Commission vice president Maros Sefcovic also said the bloc’s patience was wearing “very, very thin” after a meeting with Lord Frost earlier. This is a brief summary.