Former US national security advisor urges Biden administration to side with UK over Northern Ireland Protocol

A former US national security advisor has said America’s interests lies in siding with the United Kingdom in the Northern Ireland Protocol debate.

By Henry McDonald
Thursday, 16th June 2022, 12:40 pm
Updated Thursday, 16th June 2022, 6:34 pm

John Bolton has also reminded the Biden administration that the US needs a strong UK as opposed to an Irish Republic that offers Nato and the Western Alliance nothing.

In a column for the Daily Telegraph, the former national security advisor to President Donald Trump and one-time US ambassador to the United Nations criticised the Biden White House for backing Dublin and the EU against the UK in the row over British legislation to override the protocol.

“They unreservedly accept both the EU claim that the Northern Ireland Protocol is essentially inviolable, and Ireland’s posture that unilateral changes to the protocol could mortally wound the Good Friday Agreement,” he wrote.

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John Bolton, a former US national security advisor, says the US needs a strong UK helping to lead the Nato alliance

Mr Bolton asked if this position by Joe Biden and Congressional Speaker Nancy Pelosi “is distant from hard reality”.

He characterised Brussels’ hard-line on no changes to the protocol as “its determination to punish one country that told it go pound sand.”

The former US diplomat, who played an influential role in the George W Bush White House, said the protocol effect on Northern Ireland was akin to “allowing Canada to dictate terms of trade between Alaska and the Lower Forty-eight” states of the USA.

He said the protocol has been used by Dublin to get more leverage over Northern Ireland “but it is delusional to think that striving to weaken British internal unity is productive”.

On Nato, the war in Ukraine and Western unity, Mr Bolton said the Republic of Ireland has very little to give to the United States.

“What Washington really needs strategically and politically is a strong UK, helping to lead the Nato alliance both in the immediate crisis and long term, in reinvigorating the special relationship on a global basis after years of tensions. With all due respect, Ireland is not a Nato member. Even as Finland and Sweden apply for Nato membership, Ireland remains mute. That is certainly Ireland’s choice; so are the consequences.”

Mr Bolton added that White House lectures to the UK that they risk Western unity over Ukraine are “absurd”.