In order to ensure that “the Brits didn’t screw around,” Joe Biden claimed he traveled to Northern Ireland in April for the anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement.
The US president appeared to express skepticism about the UK government’s handling of post-Brexit concerns during a speech at a fundraiser on Wednesday in New York.
In order to ensure that Northern Ireland didn’t break its promises and the British didn’t play games with the Irish Accords, Mr. Biden stated, “I had to go back to Ireland.”
The casual remark comes after a meticulously planned trip to Belfast last month to commemorate the peace accord that ended decades of sectarian strife and marked its 25th anniversary.
The president lauded Rishi Sunak’s post-Brexit agreement with the EU intended to settle the Northern Ireland Protocol dispute and claimed it may attract “significant” US investment into the territory.
While Mr. Biden, a Catholic who had emphasized his Irish heritage, took cautious not to press the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) to change its position on restoring power-sharing government in Northern Ireland.
But they were compelled to refute allegations that the US president was “anti-British.”
Joe Biden allegedly hates the United Kingdom, according to former DUP leader Dame Arlene Foster, while DUP MP Sammy Wilson claimed the president had “antipathy” for Protestants and was “anti-British.”
During a speech in a pub, Mr. Biden also mixed up the British reserve troops immortalized in an Irish Republican rebel song with the New Zealand rugby squad, claiming in error that a rugby player “beat the hell out of the Black and Tans.”
At the charity event in Westchester County on Wednesday, the US president also made a strange jest about the “thin walls” of his childhood house.
“With four kids and a grandpop living with us. I look back on it and wonder how thin those walls were for my mom and dad, but at any rate…”
On Wednesday, as his former adversary attempted to make the case for a third presidential run at a CNN town hall meeting, the Democrat also attacked Donald Trump.
In addition to spreading further myths about the 2020 election and his plans to rig the outcome, Mr. Trump attacked E Jean Carroll and referred to his CNN moderator as “nasty.”
“It’s simple, folks. Do you want four more years of that?” Mr Biden asked on Twitter.
On Thursday, Downing Street responded angrily to the comments. When asked about Mr. Biden’s remarks, the official spokesman for the Prime Minister informed reporters in Westminster:
“You will know that, obviously, the Windsor Framework was a culmination of substantive work between the UK and the EU, and at its heart the UK priority was always protecting the GFA.
“We have been consistent on that point throughout and we are pleased that between the UK and the EU we have been able to reach an agreement that works for the people of NI, and for the whole of the UK.”