Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland: EU Proposals - Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 12:02 pm on 21st October 2021.

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Photo of Baroness Ludford Baroness Ludford Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Exiting the European Union) 12:02 pm, 21st October 2021

My Lords, the New York Times ran an interesting article a few days ago under the headline “Showdown Over Northern Ireland Has a Key Offstage Player: Biden”. It was clearly briefed by administration officials and said:

“In recent days, unprompted, Mr. Biden asked his staff for an update on the negotiations between Britain and the European Union over trade arrangements in Northern Ireland. He urged them to relay a message to the Johnson government that it should not do anything that would jeopardize the peace accord in the North”.

It also said that

“pressure from the American president may cause Mr. Johnson to think twice about provoking another destabilizing clash with Brussels.”

Does that pressure do so, or are this Government really going to antagonise what they love to describe as their closest ally?