Biden could negotiate with Germany over UK warns Rigby
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The Sky News editor argued Brexit had a detrimental effect on Britain’s global standing and suggested Joe Biden might turn to Germany or France to form stronger ties with Brussels. The UK traditionally acted as a “bridge” between Washington and the European Union since joining the bloc in 1974 but Brexit could affect its position, Ms Rigby argued. Boris Johnson hailed the departure from the EU as an opportunity for the UK to strengthen its relationship with the US and other international partners.
But the Sky News political editor warned Mr Johnson his goals may struggle to be achieved.
She said: “The reality is, on a global stage, Brexit has diminished the UK in that it’s no longer part of the European gang so Biden might look to France or Germany to negotiate with that bloc rather than negotiating with that Transatlantic bridge that was once the UK.
“I think there’s an idealised vision Boris Johnson has of global Britain but when it rubs up with reality, it’s a rather different thing indeed.
“In terms of Afghanistan, it was a unilateral decision by the US, the UK was blindsided, the UK was scrambling. In a way, the UK looked diminished on the world stage.”
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She continued: “It was Theresa May, the former Prime Minister, who said after that directly to the Prime Minister if the US had taken the decision, is Global Britain so powerless that it can’t come up with an alternative, it can’t galvanise NATO.
“It was a question of well, actually, what does Global Britain stand for if you’re just the puppy, if you like, of the US in that situation?
“So there’s one thing around the bilateral relationship that had been more important to the UK because of Brexit, but the US is acting particularly unilaterally when it comes to decisions it’s taken.”
Joe Biden repeatedly reiterated the US’ commitment to preserving the Good Friday Agreement from the impact of Brexit.
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Northern Ireland emerged as a key point of contention during the Brexit negotiations, and the special protocol created as part of the withdrawal agreement has repeatedly come under fire from the British Government.
Speaking ahead of a meeting with Boris Johnson in September, Mr Biden told the press: “I feel very strongly.
“We spent an enormous amount of time and effort in the United States.
“It was a major partisan effort, and I would not like to see – nor would many of my Republican colleagues – a change in the Irish accord.”
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Under the protocol, Northern Ireland became the only part of the United Kingdom to remain in the single market and customs union to preserve terms of the Belfast Agreement demanding no checks be set up between Belfast and Dublin.
But the UK Government has been clamouring for a change to the terms, arguing the settlement resulted in an unwanted distinction between UK nations.
Liz Truss, who took over the role of post-Brexit negotiation following Lord Frost’s resignation earlier this month, said she wanted to find a “comprehensive solution” to the protocol.
Allies of the Foreign Secretary said she wanted to “hit the ground running” but shed no further light on how she would approach the issue of customs arrangements.
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