YOU need US! Ireland slapped down after Boris told to ‘knuckle down’ in Brexit talks

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The Taoiseach (Irish prime minister) said this morning the US President-elect would be watching Brexit talks closely. And Mr Biden, who has spoken about being a proud Irish-American in the past, has repeatedly said the Good Friday peace deal for Northern Ireland must not be undermined in a post-Brexit deal. He also reiterated this demand in a phone call with the Prime Minister on Tuesday, saying that if Britain undermines the agreement, it will not be able to get a trade deal with the US.

Mr Martin has now echoed Mr Biden’s sentiment by repeating his pleas for a trade deal to be reached before the transition period ends on December 31.

He told BBC Radio: “He is very committed to the Good Friday Agreement.

“Particularly in relation to Brexit, he would favour obviously a deal between the European Union and Britain.

“And I think that’s where, if I could respectfully say it, that’s where the British government should head, in that direction, in my view.

“It should knuckle down and… get a deal with the European Union.”

However, Mr Martin’s words sparked outrage among Twitter users, who blasted the EU for expecting the UK to give into the bloc’s demands.

One person wrote: “Its still amazing how the EU expects to have the same access to our fishing market in return for us having worse access to their market.

“We are not allowed to ‘cherry pick’ but they want to, EU needs to accept us as equals.”

Another Twitter user added Ireland and the EU should accept Britain could thrive without a trade deal.

They said: “What is needed is recognition from the EU that the UK is an independent coastal state.

“When that happens there will be a deal.”

A third person raged at the prospect of the UK capitulating to EU demands.

They said: “17.4m voters are going to be very angry to be told they have to ‘knuckle down’.”

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And a fourth simply added: “Ireland needs the UK to get a trade deal, you mean.”

The Irish border has been a contentious issue throughout Brexit negotiations.

The UK Government caused further outrage recently by saying it wanted to make changes to the previously agreed Withdrawal Arrangement.

Mr Biden also weighed in on Mr Johnson’s Internal Market Bill over concerns it could jeopardise protections against a hardened border between the north and south.

He tweeted: “We can’t allow the Good Friday Agreement that brought peace to Northern Ireland to become a casualty of Brexit.

“Any trade deal between the US and UK must be contingent upon respect for the agreement and preventing the return of a hard border.”

Mr Martin added today that the Internal Market Bill raised concerns about how far the EU could trust Mr Johnson, while continuing to praise Mr Biden’s approach to the Irish border after the transition period.

He said: “He has a deep affinity to our country, and it’s wonderful to hear that.

“And his grandfather had a particular influence on him, so he understands the Irish probably better than the Irish themselves.

“So I think he’s very comfortable with us. But I have no doubt too that he sees the United Kingdom as a very significant partner to the United States.”

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said the UK would not compromise on its sovereignty but that the Government hoped for a deal in the days ahead.

He told the BBC: “We hope that in the days ahead, admittedly, time is short, but in the days ahead, both sides will be able to reach agreement and the EU will show some further flexibility in those respects.”

Mr Biden’s stance on Brexit is different to his predecessor Donald Trump.

Mr Trump backed the UK’s decision to leave the EU in 2016, while Mr Biden advised against it while he was vice president under Barack Obama.

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