Joe Biden: Hard Border on the Island of Ireland 'Just Not Right'

President-elect Joe Biden has reaffirmed his belief in the Good Friday Agreement and that nothing should put Irish peace in jeopardy.

"We do not want a guarded border. We want to make sure, we've worked too long to get Ireland worked out," Biden told reporters. "The idea of having a border north and south once again being closed is just not right, we've just got to keep the border open."

Biden also said he has spoken to U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Irish Prime Minister Micheál Martin as well as the French and other European leaders about the issue, as Brexit deal negotiations enter their final weeks.

An insider speaking to Newsweek says that there is a likelihood that the U.S. might intervene more directly if the U.K. government decides to go down a no-deal Brexit route. Biden has Irish heritage and he, along with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and other senators, are very clear that the U.S. would not stand by if there was a risk of the agreement being breached.

U.K. officials have said that its Internal Market Bill, proposed as a back-up agreement to ensure that free trade remains possible between the four nations of the United Kingdom, would break international law in a "specific and limited way" and this has faced major criticism.

Before the election, Biden tweeted: "We can't allow the Good Friday Agreement that brought peace to Northern Ireland to become a casualty of Brexit" and, separately, "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."

This would also potentially risk any trade deal between the U.K. and the U.S. and a souring of the "special" relationship between the countries. But there are those who believe that a trade deal might be difficult with or without a Brexit deal.

"I question whether a U.K./U.S. trade deal would be any sort of priority for a Biden-led presidency," a senior U.K. official has told Newsweek. "There are rumors that the key relationships will be with Merkel and Macron. There's a risk that, while he'll be perfectly friendly, he's not a fan of Brexit and we'll be put at the back of the queue."

Biden is not a believer in Brexit and believes in a united Europe. Biden's expected pick for secretary of state, Anthony Blinken, has referred to Brexit as a "total mess" and compared it to a dog.

"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," he told the podcast Pod Save The World in 2019. "It's a total mess."