Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin said on Thursday that US President-elect Joe Biden wanted Britain to reach a Brexit trade deal with the European Union, so Prime Minister Boris Johnson should knuckle down.
Biden's win in the US presidential election has changed the international context of Brexit: US President Donald Trump backed Britain's decision to leave the EU, while Biden served as vice president under Barack Obama, who advised against it.
Biden, who is proud of his Irish heritage, has repeatedly said the US-brokered 1998 "Good Friday" peace deal for Northern Ireland must not be undermined. That has been seen as a warning against a bill proposed by Johnson that would negate parts of Britain's EU divorce agreement governing the UK-Ireland border.
Pictures of the week: November 8 - 14
Pictures of the week: November 8 - 14
Vinegar Strokes and Courtney Act take part a photocall for Death Drop: A Dragatha Christie Murder Mystery at the Garrick Theatre in London. (Photo by Brett Cove / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
A view of the Covent Garden?s Infinity Chamber that encourages visitors to take five minutes out of their busy day and indulge in restorative colour therapy. Created using thousands of LED bulbs which will change colours throughout the day from beautiful bright white to an ever changing rainbow. The Infinity Chamber is free for visitors to use 24 hours a day, making it the first of its kind in London . (Photo by Keith Mayhew / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
A man cleans windows above The North Face store in London?s Covent Garden while abseiling down the side. (Photo by Dave Rushen / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
Scotland's David Marshall saving from Serbia's Aleksandar Mitrovic to win the penalty shoot and qualifying for the Euro2020 finals following the UEFA Euro 2020 Play-off Finals match at Rajko Mitic Stadium, Belgrade.
Residents and care workers at Churchview Nursing Home in Liverpool watch a video of this year's christmas lights switch on in Liverpool city centre. The video was created for people isolating at home, in care homes or for those who are unable to get into the city centre due to the current coronavirus lockdown in England. (Photo by Peter Byrne/PA Images via Getty Images)
A Westminster council worker sweeps up fallen leaves in the Aldwych in London. (Photo by Dave Rushen / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
GREAT MISSENDEN , ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 11: HS2 contractors at the site of tree felling at a section of an Iron Age earthwork known as Grim's Ditch, scheduled as an 'Ancient Monument', that will be destroyed by the HS2 High Speed Rail line, on November 11, 2020 in Great Missenden, England. ‘Scheduling’ gives an archaeological site the highest level of protection that the state can give, but the HS2 Hybrid Bill allows previous protective legislation to be set aside and this 120-metre section of Grim's Ditch will be destroyed. Much of the countryside around the surrounding Misbourne Valley and Aylesbury Vale is also under threat from the controversial HS2 project. HS2 protesters continue to occupy key infrastructure sites along the proposed HS2 route claiming that the project is "the most carbon-intensive and environmentally destructive project in UK history." (Photo by Jim Dyson/Getty Images)
Britain's Camilla Duchess of Cornwall leaves after attending the Armistice Day service at Westminster Abbey in London, Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2020. The specially arranged service, with social distancing because of the coronavirus, commemorates the 102nd anniversary of the armistice ending World War I, and one hundred years since the symbolic interment of the Unknown Warrior at Westminster Abbey. (Aaron Chown/Pool via AP)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - NOVEMBER 11: Police officers cordon off the area after a car crashed to the police station in London, United Kingdom on November 11, 2020. (Photo by Bilal Acar/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
A giant poppy seen at King's Cross station. The poppy displayed at the station for Remembrance Day / Armistice day, it is commemorated every year on 11th November. (Photo by Vuk Valcic / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and Chancellor Rishi Sunak during a visit to a tesco.com distribution centre in London, Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2020. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, pool)
Pro EU supporters argue with Brexit supporters in London, Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2020. Negotiations continue on London between the EU bloc and British officials to agree A Brexit deal as Britain is due to split from Europe from January 1. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
The Cenotaph in London's Whitehall is being surrounded by wreathes of poppies laid there by the royal family and others in honour of Remembrance Day. (Photo by Brett Cove / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
Jockey Paul O'Brien is unseated by Nightline in the tote.co.uk Ten To Follow Conditional Jockeys' Veterans' Handicap Chase (Series Qualifier) at Huntingdon Racecourse.
A huge construction machine at Dawlish train station where work has begun building a new and bigger sea wall to protect the railway and town from rising sea levels using an eight-legged, self-contained walking jack-up barge, known as a Wavewalker � the only one of its kind in Europe. It is the first time this type of barge has been used to maintain the UK rail network and the machine is able to operate across high tidal ranges, which particularly impact the south Devon coastline.
Cruise boats seen moored on the River Thames next to Lambeth Palace.
The River Thames has seen a huge reduction in traffic due to the ongoing pandemic. (Photo by Dave Rushen / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
A general view of a Christmas decoration that says '2020 The Year of Lockdown', as the UK heads into the festive period in lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Shoppers queue to enter shops in Cardiff, Wales, Monday Nov. 9, 2020, after restrictions imposed by the Welsh government are relaxed following a two-week lockdown across Wales. (Ben Birchall/PA via AP)
People wearing face masks walking in the Covent Garden Market.
Most shops, restaurants and businesses have closed as the second month-long nationwide Covid 19 lockdown begins in England. (Photo by Vuk Valcic / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
A woman passes a Virginia Creeper displaying autumnal colours, on the walls of the Old Admiralty Building, in London, Monday Nov, 9, 2020. (Dominic Lipinski/PA via AP)
Members of the military use Anfield stadium as part of the mass testing taking place in the city of Liverpool, as a pilot for mass testing in the city enters its second week. (Photo by Peter Byrne/PA Images via Getty Images)
The Forth Bridge is covered by fog in the Firth of Forth, South Queensferry. (Photo by Jane Barlow/PA Images via Getty Images)
Anti-Brexit protester Steve Bray holds placards outside the Conference Centre in London, Monday, Nov. 9, 2020, as the European Commission's Head of Task Force for Relations with the United Kingdom Michel Barnier takes part in Brexit talks inside. With less than two months to go before the U.K. exits the EU's economic orbit, trade deal talks resume in London on Monday. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Britain's Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Michael Gove is surrounded by photographers as he gets in a car in London, Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
Police officers arrest a protester during the demonstration.
Protests all across the country have been seen this weekend challenging the latest lockdown that was imposed on the country earlier in the week. (Photo by Kenny Brown / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
Veteran Charlie MacVicar, who served for 23 years with Royal Scots (Edinburgh Unit) pays his respects at the Royal British Legion Remembrance Garden, on Remembrance Sunday, in Grangemouth, Scotland, Sunday, Nov. 8, 2020. (Jane Barlow/PA via AP)
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II looks on from the balcony of the Foreign Office, during the Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph, in Whitehall, London, Sunday Nov. 8, 2020. (Chris Jackson/Pool Photo via AP)
Seymour 'Bill' Taylor, 95, from Colchester, who served as an Able Seaman in the Royal Navy onboard HMS Emerald during the D-Day landings joins neighbours in the street to observe the two minutes silence to pay his respects on Remembrance Sunday, in Essex, England, Sunday, Nov. 8, 2020. (Joe Giddens/PA via AP)
Liverpool's manager Jurgen Klopp, left, and Manchester City's head coach Pep Guardiola greet each other at the end of the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester City and Liverpool at the Etihad stadium in Manchester, England, Sunday, Nov. 8, 2020. The game ended in a 1-1 draw. (Martin Rickett/Pool via AP)
EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier wearing a mask because of the novel coronavirus pandemic arrives at St Pancras Station in London on November 8, 2020 as work continues on a trade deal between the EU and the UK. - The European Union and Britain said on November 7 major divergences remain but that post-Brexit negotiations would continue next week to clinch a trade deal in the scant time left. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
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BACK TO SLIDE
Biden repeated his support for the Good Friday agreement in a phone call with Johnson on Tuesday. The president-elect has said that if Britain undermines it, London will not be able to obtain a trade deal with the United States.
"He is very committed to the Good Friday Agreement," Martin said of Biden. "Particularly in relation to Brexit, he would favour obviously a deal between the European Union and Britain."
"And I think that's where, if I could respectfully say it, that's where the British government should head, in that direction, in my view. It should knuckle down and... get a deal with the European Union," Martin told BBC radio.
The United Kingdom left the EU in January. The two sides are trying to clinch a deal that would govern trade once a status quo transition period ends on Dec. 31. Many businesses say an exit without a deal would cause chaos.
BIDEN AND BREXIT
But the clock is ticking: the talks are now likely to go beyond yet another Brexit deadline - this time Nov. 15 - though negotiators are racing to clinch a deal with enough to ratify it before the end of the year.
Martin said Johnson's Internal Market Bill, which London has acknowledged could violate international law by overturning parts of the Brexit divorce agreement on Northern Ireland, had raised concerns about how far the EU could trust him.
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said Britain would not compromise on its sovereignty but that the government hoped for a deal in the days ahead.
"We hope that in the days ahead, admittedly, time is short, but in the days ahead, both sides will be able to reach agreement and the EU will show some further flexibility in those respects," he told the BBC.