US President Joe Biden speaks in Dundalk, Ireland, August 12, 2023 (Patrick Semansky/AP)
US President Joe Biden has completed a four-day visit to Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, with acclaim and celebration throughout the island.
But in England, some media outlets and politicians have been clutching their pearls, fuming and posturing that Britain has been “snubbed”.
I joined BBC Radio Scotland on Saturday morning to take apart the English posturing. I explained how the Biden Administration’s approach is a politics of realism, seeking security and stability — and recognizing that there is more potential in economic links with Northern Ireland/Ireland rather than a Brexit Britain which has left the European Union.
My conversation is preceded by a report from Pat Leahy of the Irish Times on the success of the Biden trip.
This is not a US “grudge”.
If you were to choose where to invest in an economic relationship, would you invest in a 27-member bloc in which Ireland had a 12.2% increase in GDP last year and is forecast to grow 4.5% this year?
Or would you invest in a UK which was stagnant last year and is forecast to contract this year?
The US is waiting for Britain to come in from the cold and be an adult in the room, rather than threatening to stomp out of it.