Prepare for Joe after the show

Imagine the mood on Downing Street today. The Irish-American US President of History was elected. Provided his health continues, Joe Biden will be in power for the remainder of Boris Johnson’s tenure.

So much for a landslide in Tory and the free path to the sunny highlands created after Brexit.

It is certain that Boris Johnson’s most trusted advisor, Dominic Cummings, knows little about Mayo football and its heartbreaking ability to pull defeat from the jaws of victory. But since Wednesday morning the world has been fascinated by the saga of a man with Mayo (and Louth) roots who struggles for victory, which at first glance was not only defeat but also disgrace.

The Brexit negotiations will be one of the first examples of how Joe Biden’s victory could affect international events.

In theory, these UK-EU talks should reach a make-or-break stage in the next fortnight. But there is always the option to extend the haggling. The UK’s official day of departure from the Brussels Club is December 31st.

The negotiations between negotiators Michel Barnier and David Frost are said to have stalled.

Some Brexiters, upset by their Prime Minister’s Covid-19 lockdown measures, including the U-turn, could enjoy a good argument and the opportunity to storm the door of the Brexit negotiations.

But their hopes of a major new post-Brexit trade deal with the US, as discussed with the administration, may no longer be on the table.

For months, the UK government was told how US Democrats with keen interest in Irish affairs were wrought by the events of the Brexit talks.

The Irish-American group was alarmed by Northern Irish Secretary Brandon Lewis’s threat that the UK could step back from some of its obligations under the Disengagement Act that affect the island of Ireland.

Dominic Raab, the British Foreign Secretary, went to Washington and tried to ease tension.

His tactic, however, was to give cast iron assurances on irrelevant matters. Mr Raab promised that Britain would never put customs or security infrastructure on its side of the border.

He failed to address the obvious – that by breaking a word, Britain could urge the EU to build infrastructure on the Irish (and EU) side of the land border to protect its internal market.

Dominic Raab’s transatlantic trips were made to meet House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and influential members of Congress like Richie Neal.

Raab’s tactic was to give cast-iron assurances on irrelevant matters

They were his most pressing doubters. But everything changed over the weekend. The British now had a problem with the new US president and his administration.

In January, Boris Johnson fired his Northern Irish secretary, Julian Smith. He is one of the few Conservative party members respected by some of the leading Irish-American Democrats. How useful would it be now?

Over the years, many politicians, including Charles de Gaulle and Henry Kissinger, have been associated with the concept “We have no friends or enemies, only interests”.

Be ready for the UK test. Boris Johnson’s record shows he is able to turn around or kick passengers off the bus instead of crashing it.

If ore survivor Boris wants to hit a Brexit deal and make a down payment on good relations with Joe Biden’s government, will Dominic Cummings support him? And if there is a number, which position will hold?


Joe Biden visited Ballina in 2016

Joe Biden is as close as possible to a lottery win for Ireland – and a euro lottery win.

In this case, the mandarins in Dublin do not need to send genealogists to the church records in Tipperary or Connemara to track down another emigration story. This US president knows where he’s from.

“I was and always will be the son of Kitty Finngean, the grandson of Geraldine Finnegan from Scranton; a proud descendant of the Finnegans from Co Louth. The great grandson of a man named Blewitt, whose roots are from Ballina Co Mayo. ”

At a time when Ireland’s closest neighbor is leaving the European Union and questioning this important relationship, he suddenly has new, real access to the White House. This should help tiny Ireland’s efforts to reshape its relationship with the UK and its limited weight at the EU table.

Under Biden, good manners and compromises will be fashionable again.

Joe Biden’s administration will take over as Ireland prepares for its two-year term on the UN Security Council. Donald Trump had very special views about the United Nations, the World Health Organization, the Paris Climate Agreement, the European Union and NATO.

As the US perspective on the role of the United Nations changes, Ireland’s limited time as a member of the Security Council should increase.

The new situation should offer opportunities for west and east for the small island behind the larger island.

For Ireland to thrive, it needs to look beyond itself and be active.

Biden’s America should mean opportunities for Tourism Ireland, the IDA and Enterprise Ireland. The new warmth in the relationship was to be reflected in exports and trade.

RTE’s Six One News Bulletin viewers yesterday saw a glimpse of the possibilities.

The weekend program has been extended to an hour to make the story of the president-elect easier. The moderators Caitríona Perry and Ray Kennedy were able to secure interviews with important US politicians and the former US ambassador Kevin O’Malley in a very short time.

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During the BBC The Andrew Marr Show on Sunday, Joe Biden’s Irish-American roots, his respect for the Good Friday Agreement and his concerns about the impact of Brexit on the peace process were addressed in three interviews.

The new President will certainly come to Ireland during his term in office. Maybe more than once. But official Ireland will likely travel to see him beforehand. The shamrock ceremony at the White House, if Covid-19 permits, will be an extraordinary green festival.

All Northern Ireland political parties, including the DUP and the Ulster Unionists, will want to attend this event. Joe Biden has made a gaffe in the past that upset some unionists. Once when he greeted Taoiseach Enda Kenny with the Shenanigans on St. Patrick’s Day, he said, “Anyone who wears orange is not welcome in.” Even Enda’s half smile was nervous.

No offense was intended, however, and the comment is unlikely to be repeated or raised again.

As the Late Late Show viewers saw, and as it was evident when Arlene Foster attended Martin McGuinness and John Hume’s funerals, the DUP leader and Northern Ireland’s First Minister Arlene can portray dignity and grace. Joe Biden’s natural inclination is to be welcome.

Donald Trump was at the box office. Often observed with wide eyes. Regular “I don’t believe what I see” and “Did he really say that?” Replies.

After ShowTime, prepare for Joe Time. It can be boring at times compared to the past. Given the size and range of challenges he faces, he is likely to fail or fail on several key fronts. The weight of responsibility will take its toll, as any political leader does.

But under Biden, good manners and compromises will be fashionable again.

The principles of life and life were the focus of the Good Friday Agreement. It is still a work in progress, but it makes Ireland, North and South, and our history continue to be a place of interest for the United States and the European Union.

Continue reading:

Joe Biden would indeed be a friend of Ireland

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