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Mr Biden has pushed ahead in the ongoing presidential election, having secured 253 Electoral College votes out of the required 270 — although six states are still to announce their results. Even so, President Donald Trump is not willing to concede without a fight. He says he has won the election, and has repeated the unsubstantiated claim that there was “tremendous corruption and fraud in the mail-in ballots”.
However, as it looks likely the White House will fall into the Democratic nominee’s hands, Downing Street is thought to be on the edge of its seat.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has a strong relationship with Mr Trump, with the President even referring to him as “Britain Trump”.
The President also promised the UK a “massive new trade deal” with the US after Brexit which would be “far bigger and more lucrative than any deal that could be made with the EU”.
But, as his challenger looks ready to upset Mr Trump’s re-election, Mr Johnson’s team has reportedly tried to reach out to the Biden camp.
Downing Street has even been criticised this week by the EU for “stalling” to see if Mr Trump can somehow swing the election back in his favour — thus resurrecting his promises of a trade deal.
Brussels suggested that a Biden administration is expected to take a tougher line on any trade deal, meaning the UK would be more likely to offer concessions to the EU during negotiations.
Downing Street sources claimed that these claims were “simply untrue”.
However, the Democrat has always placed his interests in Ireland first — and has clearly established his red lines over any Brexit.
After the Internal Bill was announced, Mr Biden said: “Any trade deal between the US and UK must be contingent upon respect for the agreement and preventing the return of a hard border. Period.”
Commentator Emily Tamkin explained in September: “The tragicomic part of all of this is that a Biden win on November 3 mighty have meant good business for Brexit.”
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Writing in the New Statesman, she continued: “Democrats were broadly against Brexit, but there was a view on both sides of the proverbial pond that the past was past and that the US and UK could work together towards a multilateral future — provided the Good Friday Agreement wasn’t hurt.”
The Internal Market Bill, announced by the Government in September, aimed to give Northern Ireland “unfettered access” to Britain.
By doing so, it would break the withdrawal agreement by overlooking the customs border that was supposed to be drawn up down the Irish Sea.
The Government has refused to withdraw the bill despite fears that a hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland could revive violence in the region.
Director of the Centre on the US and Europe at the Brookings Institute, Thomas Wright, told the New Statesman: “The US feels very strongly about the Good Friday Agreement and thinks we’re completely jeopardising it.”
He added that Democrats thought it was therefore incredibly “surprising” when “they basically ripped all of that up” and put the “most sensitive part” back on the agenda, crossing one of the Democrats’ red lines.
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