Brexit trouble overshadows Biden and Johnson's first meeting
June 10, 2021 at 11:21
Biden is in the UK because Johnson is hosting the G7 summit in what was supposed to be Britain's big return to the international arena.
As with any ally, we have diplomatic conversations about areas where we have concern at many levels," a senior Biden administration official told CNN.
"President Biden has been crystal clear about his rock-solid belief in the Good Friday Agreement as the foundation for peaceful coexistence in Northern Ireland.
"I'm only going to say that President Biden is going to make statements in principle on this front," Sullivan said.
It's not implausible that this is because it would be impossible for the issue of Northern Ireland to be dodged, creating a difficult diplomatic moment on camera, something both men would rather avoid.
The problems Brexit has created for Northern Ireland are very serious.
The UK province shares a border with the Republic of Ireland, which is an EU member state.
The "Northern Ireland Protocol" , which forms part of the UK-EU Brexit deal, chiefly seeks to prevent a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic.
It does so by keeping Northern Ireland in the EU's customs area and single market for goods, meaning there is no need for physical checks for goods crossing the border.
The arrangement has created a de facto sea border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK, which has enraged unionists in Northern Ireland and in Britain.
But Johnson has yet to fully implement the protocol, for fear of food shortages in Northern Ireland among other things.
In March, the EU launched legal action against the UK over London's unilateral attempts to extend the Brexit grace period on food imports to Northern Ireland.Source