Wednesday, 25 Nov 2020

Joe Biden sparks ‘maximum fury’ as he rows with Boris Johnson in first Brexit phone call

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BBC Newsnight’s political editor Nicholas Watt noted that Joe Biden raised his Brexit concerns with Boris Johnson during their phone call. He added Mr Biden may have chosen to speak to European leader Boris Johnson first to cause maximum outrage and fury to Donald Trump’s administration. Despite the rows over Brexit, Mr Watt also noted the pair did banter between one another during the phone call as well.

Mr Watt said: “We do know that Joe Biden did raise his concerns about how the implementation of Brexit could have negative implications for the Good Friday Agreement.

“Boris Johnson did offer reassurances on that but Joe Biden does have real concerns about the UK’s plans to give itself powers to potentially break international law on the Northern Ireland Protocol in the withdrawal agreement.

“Joe Biden believes that this potentially upsets the delicate balance in Northern Ireland.”

Mr Watt noted that Piers Morgan and a leading Brexiteer agreed Mr Biden was attempting to frustrate Donald Trump and his team by speaking to Boris Johnson.

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The BBC editor said: “A leading Brexiteer said to me that they agreed with Piers Morgan.

“Piers Morgans said the reason Joe Biden phoned the European leader, the leader most sympathetic to him, Boris Johnson, first was to cause maximum fury in the current White House.

“Interestingly, that Brexiteer might be sympathetic to Donald Trump, they said his refusal to concede defeat is disgusting.”

Mr Watt also highlighted the lighter parts of the conversation had between Joe Biden and Boris Johnson.

He said: “It looks like Boris Johnson was the first European Union to be called by the President-elect and both sides were stressing the positives.

“Joe Biden said he wants to work hard to improve the special relationship and Boris Johnson says he would like to work with the President on climate change when he becomes President in January.

“Boris Johnson extended an invitation to Joe Biden to come to the UK next year to Glasgow for the COP26 conference on climate change.”

Joe Biden and his team have faced some criticism for attempting to interfere with the UK and Brexit, however.

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This has frustrated some ardent Brexiteers who argued the President-elect should focus on the politics in his own country.

Sir Iain Duncan Smith told Channel 4 News: “It’s nothing to do with them and we will get on with our legislation.

“We are a sovereign nation, that’s what we voted for.

“And therefore sovereign nations have the right to be sovereign.”

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