Biden’s new Cabinet choice who called Brexit ‘a mess’ won’t prejudice EU over UK – claim

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Joe Biden has already made strides in his transition to power with an appointment of a new Secretary of State, Antony Blinken. However, Mr Blinken, who has described Brexit as “a total mess”, has raised fears over how the new US administration will approach the UK outside of the EU. Former US ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, spoke to LBC about what could be expected from the Secretary.

She addressed comments that Mr Blinken had made about Brexit on a podcast in October.

He had said: “This is not just the dog that caught the car, this is the dog that caught the car and the car goes into reverse and runs over the dog.”

Ms Power told LBC: “He is probably the most vocal and well-established backer and builder of the transatlantic relationship of anybody in the foreign policy community.

“If there’s anyone in Washington who could have been chosen, you have in Tony Blinken a believer that democracies need to cooperate together – particularly in light of the threats posed by China, but also the need to have leverage to get them to collaborate on a whole host of issues.”

She continued: “He’s a believer, of course, in the Good Friday Agreement, but definitely a believer in the special relationship and how foundational that will remain, even with Brexit.

“Transatlantic doesn’t have the European Union capitalised in it, it’s about a transatlantic set of relationships that date way back.

“He’s a person who feels Europe the continent very much in his blood.

“Most of his formative foreign policy years have been spent building up those relationships.”

The ex-ambassador added: “I also think that what Prime Minister Johnson did right out of gate in being the first head of state to recognise the President-Elect as the legitimate winner of the election was a nice beginning.

“I’m sure it wasn’t welcomed on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue by the current occupants.

“But it’s a reminder that we move on and that special relationship is enduring irrespective of who holds what job.”

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Mr Biden himself has already raised concerns about the integrity of the Irish border in the Brexit negotiations.

As Vice-President to Barack Obama, he also issued warnings about the 2016 EU referendum.

Mr Biden has since told the Prime Minister that there would be no US-UK trade deal if Britain went back on its withdrawal agreement with the EU.

The President-Elect had tweeted: “We can’t allow the Good Friday Agreement that brought peace to Northern Ireland to become a casualty of Brexit.

“Any trade deal between the U.S. and U.K. must be contingent upon respect for the Agreement and preventing the return of a hard border. Period.”

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