The blows keep on coming for Boris Johnson and the Tory government when it comes to Northern Ireland. Now, Donald Trump’s envoy to Northern Ireland Mick Mulvaney has cautioned against creating a hard border on the island of Ireland by accident.
In an interview with the Financial Times, Mulvaney said: “Everyone assures me that no one is interested in seeing a hard border between the republic and Northern Ireland. We appreciate that, we respect that and we agree with that. The one thing I keep trying to assure is on the front of everybody’s mind is avoiding a border by accident.”
Mulvaney has taken a different line to Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi regarding the government’s Internal Market Bill. He stated in the same interview that he does not believe the bill directly threatens the peace in Northern Ireland, he did feel that there was so much left to be decided on Brexit that ‘I see nothing in particular that would lead to a hard border.’ But that he wanted to make sure that posturing didn’t lead to an accidental hard border.
This cautious stance is in complete contrast to how both the EU and US Democrats particularly Biden and Pelosi have handled discussions around the Internal Market Bill. Both parties have warned that the bill could endanger peace on the island if the transition period ends without a deal between the EU and the UK, naturally. Joe Biden even went so far as to say that a trade deal between the UK and the US hinged on preventing a hard border.
It appears that on the one side the usually irrational Trump team has some common sense for a change whilst Biden and company are playing to the gallery, and the EU continues to push Britain around.