"It is shocking that the US would place a demarche on the U.K.," a source in the UK government tells Good Morning DC.
Good Morning DC!
President Biden will meet with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson this afternoon in the UK. A previously scheduled trip to St. Michael’s Mount for today was canceled due to bad weather.
This morning I wanted to hear impressions from the British perspective about Biden's visit. Many found "disrespectful" the American president's ‘demarche' against Boris Johnson and his Government for "inflaming" tensions in Northern Ireland.
Jake Sullivan said yesterday that "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. That agreement must be protected, and any steps that imperil or undermine it will not be welcomed by the United States."
Asked whether Johnson is taking steps to imperil it, Sullivan said, "I am not going to characterize that at this point. I'm only going to say that President Biden will make statements in principle on this front. He's not issuing threats or ultimatums; he's going to simply convey his deep-seated belief that we need to stand behind and protect this protocol."
Making the diplomatic row more heated, at RAF Mildenhall, Biden quoted the WB Yeats's poem Easter 1916, which described the beginnings of the Irish War of Independence after the Easter Rising.
"The world has changed, changed utterly," Biden said.
The UK government source told Good Morning DC that it appears that Biden is doing precisely what Von Der Leyen wants. "In the past", the source said, "They regarded Britain as the US player in the EU, but since we left, he is siding with the EU."
The source added that "The U.K. has stood alone against tyranny before and we will do again. The EU interpretation of the Northern Ireland protocol is in clear breach of the Good Friday Agreement and will prevent the import of goods to be sold in NI supermarkets from the mainland, effectively stifling trade within the U.K."
Regarding demarche, the source added, "It is shocking that the US would place a demarche on the U.K. their staunchest allies and trading partner, something they have not done so to China or Iran and on the eve of bi-lateral talks with PM Boris Johnson."
Talking to Politico, one British politician said Biden should row in behind Britain and not the EU in the dispute to break the deadlock. "America should remember who their allies are." Asked about what he anticipates Johnson's response to Biden should be, he said, "Unfortunately, he's [ Biden] so senile that he probably won't remember what we tell him anyway. Unless an aide is listening, I'm not sure he's going to remember for a very long time."
What will Jill Biden do in the UK?
Yesterday at RAF Mildenhall, Jill Biden talked about the importance of supporting military families. She called it a “national security imperative” and thanked the service members and their families for being our “ambassadors to the world.” She also hosted a roundtable with U.S. military spouses focusing on the wellbeing and emotional health of service members and their families.
Today, she will meet with Carrie, the wife of Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
On Friday, she will participate in the G7 Summit welcoming events, and an additional scheduling update is expected for this day.
On Saturday, in addition to participating in the program for spouses of G7 leaders, she will meet with members of Bude Surf Veterans. This local volunteer group assists UK military veterans with physical or mental health injuries through surfing.
On Sunday, before she departs, she will meet with UK veterans who participated in Walk of America, a 2018 expedition led by Walking with the Wounded.
This morning, Biden has announced that the United States will donate at least 80 million vaccines to 92 low-income countries by the end of June. With this donation, half a billion Pfizer vaccines will be bought and included in the contribution. The goal is to have 200 million doses delivered by the end of this year and 500 million doses delivered by June 2022.
And that's a wrap for this Thursday morning, June 10, 2021.Thanks for waking up with me. For all updates about Biden's foreign trip, you can follow our coverage at www.thepavlovictoday.com. Good Morning DC will be back tomorrow to bring you the latest first.
Sign up for The Pavlovic Today Newsletter featuring news, scoops, exclusive interviews and expert analysis