Joe Biden discusses his Irish ancestry
Mr Biden, who has close ancestral ties with Ireland, has made no secret of his opposition to any deal which he sees as jeopardising 1998’s landmark Good Friday Agreement, widely seen as having brought an end to the Troubles. He returned to the subject of Anglo-Irish relations during his first press conference as US President, when he was pressed on the issue of migrants gathered at the US-Mexico border.
He told reporters: “When my great grandfather got on a coffin ship in the Irish sea, the expectation was he was going to live long enough to get to the United States of America.
“They left because of what the Brits had been doing.
“They were in real, real trouble. They didn’t want to leave but they had no choice.
“I can’t guarantee we’re going to solve everything, but I can guarantee we can make everything better.”
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and President Joe Biden
Boris Johnson should walk away, readers said
His remarks were a reference to his grandfather Patrick Blewitt, who left Ireland in the autumn of 1850 to settle in the US.
Express.co.uk readers were emphatic, with more than 2,630 of the 3236 voters (81 percent) believing the UK should walk away.
By contrast, just 564 (17.5 percent) disagreed, with a just 42 people (1.5 percent) undecided.
One Express.co.uk reader said: “I don’t think we need do anything except wait until Biden’s little paddy subsides and the US once again acts like proper grownups and resume talks on a trade deal which should be mutually beneficial.
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UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson
“If it isn’t then of course we should cease talks until some agreement might be reached.”
Another suggested: “We trade with the US on WTO terms so not a big deal, I often get things from the states for my hobby and have had no problems. While in the Aerospace industry we had no issues either so do we really need a trade deal at this moment in time when we have all the others?
“BTW we exported the T45 (Hawk Trainer) spares using an expert licence without any issues, also Boeing parts and undercarriages no problem with them either.”
A third said the UK’s existing deal with the EU should bite the dust before anything else.
They explained: “We should also pull out of the EU Brexit deal and join the WTO, we can then in the future trade with the USA if they join it under WTO rules.
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Ellis Island, where many US immigrants were processed
Huge numbers died in the potato famine in the mid-19th century
We should have as little as possible to do with America under Biden, he like the EU is no friend of ours
“If the EU also join the WTO one day in the distant future we can again trade with them but not under their rules, it would be the WTO rules.
“Yes we would suffer as a country for a year or two, in the long run we would be better off as we would have 100 percent control of our country and fishing.
Another pointed the finger at the US President himself, saying: “We should have as little as possible to do with America under Biden, he like the EU is no friend of ours.
“This means no getting dragged into any of their future wars either.”
Colin Knight, meanwhile, argued the UK’s future lay elsewhere.
Joe Biden’s Cabinet
He said: “We need a bilateral deal with the US like a hole in the head. Press on with the multilateral CPTPP.
“My biggest concern with a bilateral UK/US deal is that America will insist on their weaponised version of Investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS). And this UK government would be blind to the danger.”
Another poster added: “As a trade deal with the USA adds so little to our GDP, and if he’s going to keep bashing at us, there seems little point in putting up with his antics.
“Better to walk away with dignity, and concentrate those efforts where they may yield better rewards.
“If this is how America is going to treat their friends in future, there may come a time when we need to decide whether we still want to be their friends.”
However, not everybody blamed the US President
Donald Trump, Mr Biden’s predecessor as President
One poster commented: “Starting to look like US won’t touch UK with a barge poll while Johnson is PM – they don’t like treaty breaking liars.
“So let’s see —EU – no deal, China – no deal , US- no deal. Nobody likes us …. think I’m going to cry….Where to next?”
At the time Mr Biden’s ancestors emigrated, Ireland was in the grip of mass starvation as a result of what is commonly referred to as the Great Potato Famine, estimated to have cost between one million and 1.5 million lives.
With Ireland not yet an independent country, the UK Government faced considerable criticism for its laissez-faire approach to the situation, not least the Corn Laws, which kept the price of bread artificially high.
The Express poll was conducted on the Express.co.uk website on Friday, March 26 between 1pm and 6pm.