Stephen Collins: Biden’s support for Government’s North position a contrast to JFK's stance

US president-elect has done a great service by beating Trump and will be firm on Brexit

US president-elect Joe Biden delivers a Thanksgiving address in Wilmington, Delaware. Photograph: Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty

US president-elect Joe Biden delivers a Thanksgiving address in Wilmington, Delaware. Photograph: Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty

The election of Joe Biden has come as an enormous relief to mainstream political parties in the democratic world as it shows that xenophobic populists can be defeated by a moderate, old-school democratic politician. It is a particular bonus for Ireland because the new US president is more closely attached to this country than any of his predecessors in the White House.

That attachment was evident in his warnings to the UK, before and after his election, not to breach the terms of the Belfast Agreement in the course of the Brexit process. Crucially Biden has a real understanding of this country and does not pander to cliched demands for a united Ireland parroted by some US politicians. Instead he is committed to the shared island approach being followed by Taoiseach Micheál Martin.

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