Iain Duncan Smith
By Irish Echo Staff
Joe Biden will not be getting a Christmas card from British Conservative Party members – regardless of how he fares in the November 3 presidential election.
After his broadside last week directed at the British government and Prime Minister Boris Johnson over Brexit, there was a sharp response from Tory ranks aimed at the former vice president.
Sign up to The Irish Echo Newsletter
This in turn prompted a riposte from the Philadelphia-based American Brexit Committee.
According to a Times of London report, former Tory leader, Iain Duncan Smith, told Biden to tackle rioting in the U.S. rather than “lecture” Britain over Northern Ireland.
The Times report stated that intervention from a candidate who has largely stayed out of foreign policy so far underlines the hazard a Biden presidency may pose to Mr. Johnson if he continues to threaten to breach the Brexit deal, including the Northern Ireland protocol.
But efforts to avoid “a bust-up looked doomed” in the context of Tory reaction led by Mr. Duncan Smith who told The Times: “We don’t need lectures on the Northern Ireland peace deal from Mr. Biden. If I were him I would worry more about the need for a peace deal in the USA to stop the killing and rioting before lecturing other sovereign nations.”
The Times also reported David Davis, the British government’s former Brexit secretary, as saying: “Perhaps Mr. Biden should talk to the EU since the only threat of an invisible border in Ireland would be if they insisted on levying tariffs.”
The report continued: “Connor (sic) Burns, a Tory MP close to Mr. Johnson, tweeted: ‘Hey Joe Biden, would you like to discuss the Good Friday agreement? It is also called the Belfast Agreement so it doesn’t offend both traditions. Did you actually know that? I was born in NI and I’m a Catholic and a Unionist. Here if you need help.’
“Another, Joy Morrissey, said that it was ‘clearly all about the Irish American vote.’
On the other side of the British political aisle, according to the Times report, Lisa Nandy, the shadow foreign secretary, said that Mr. Biden’s rebuke “shows the scale of the damage the government have done to Britain’s standing in the world.
“They’ve lost trust and undermined co-operation at the moment we most need it, and all to tear up an agreement they negotiated. Reckless, incompetent and utterly self-defeating.”
The American Brexit Committee was not impressed by the Tory broadsides
In an “open letter” to “American British and Irish Media,” the committee’s chairman John Corcoran and Secretary Mike Cummings stated: “A review of Britain’s Conservative leaders’ reaction to Joe Biden’s statement on the latest Brexit fumble was both illuminating and comical.
“The former party leader Ian Duncan Smith was annoyed that Biden didn’t accept the British notion of sovereignty. In sum, the British can do what they wish in Her Majesty’s realm without regard for democracy or the rule of law.
“His party predecessor in 1914 felt the same way. Bonar Law promoted treason and mutiny against Ireland’s Home Rule and supported armed resistance to it. He ignored the 1918 Irish election results and laid the foundation for garrison rule. Britain’s traditional definition of sovereignty involves the barrel of a gun.
Former Brexit Secretary David Davis explained that there would be no problem in Ireland if the EU did not apply tariffs in their trade deal. That’s a classic definition of having your cake and eating it. Brexiteers voted for a free ride but could care less that NI voted against Brexit.
“Alas, Conor Burns MP, being a self-proclaimed Catholic and born in Belfast, offered to advise Biden on NI. He should first read the Conservative party manifesto on the Good Friday Agreement, the Price of Peace.
“It is the game plan for undermining the pact. Author Michael Gove’s greatest laugh line is that the GFA undermined and made the RUC too political!! Forty years of lawless, corrupt and murderous policing and Burns wants to advise an American Vice-President! The Jewish people call that ‘chutzpah’ but we call it blind ignorance feeding supreme arrogance.”