Newsnight: Hannan says UK ‘doesn’t need to be lectured’
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Conservative peer Daniel Hannan has slammed the US for hammering on the UK about keeping peace in Northern Ireland, saying he does not understand why the UK needs to be “lectured” about it. The slamming came after Joe Biden stressed the importance of maintaining the careful balance that was achieved by the Good Friday/Belfast agreement on Boris Johnson’s visit to the White House this week. The US leader, alongside members of Congress and lobbyists, has expressed concerns the Brexit process could jeopardise the peace agreement the US helped broker in 1997.
Speaking to BBC Newsnight, Mr Hannan said: “I’ve never really understood why people think we need to be lectured about keeping the peace in part of the UK.
“I mean who has a greater interest? Who has a greater incentive than we do in the prosperity and stability of Northern Ireland?
“And it’s been one of the things that’s been going on for as long as I can remember that Irish American lobbyists like the congressmen feel we need to be told to do this.”
He went on: “I mean, if you think of how, how much turmoil and how much bloodshed we suffered there.
“We have more interest in anybody in preserving peace and stability.”
Boris Johnson is visiting the White House this week primarily to discuss a free trade deal.
At the start of the face-to-face meeting, President Biden talked about the importance of maintaining the balance that was achieved by the Good Friday/Belfast agreement.
When asked about the Northern Ireland protocol, the president said: “I feel very strongly.
“We spent an enormous amount of time and effort in the United States.
Mr Johnson broke in to say “on that point, we are completely at one”.
This is due to the then-president Barack Obama warned Britons in the run-up to the EU referendum in 2016 that if they voted for Brexit, they would be at the “back of the queue” of any trade deal.
Mr Biden is vocally proud of his Irish heritage.
The President downplayed prospects of a trade deal agreement during a joint press conference with Boris Johnson.
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