Joe Biden sprung into life this week with a whistlestop tour of the island of Ireland including a brief visit to Northern Ireland as part of a quest to find his ancestors.

But the biggest political challenge facing the UK, now almost seven years on since the nation voted to leave the EU, has not gone away.

You wouldn’t be daft for thinking it had, given the lack of focus put on Brexit during President Biden’s visit and the UK political agenda.

Rishi Sunak has boasted that his renegotiated deal with Brussels has sorted Brexit. But with the DUP still refusing to engage in power-sharing in Northern Ireland, Brexit will continue to tediously rumble on.

With the Tories claiming Brexit is sorted and both Labour and the LibDems giving up on the idea of the UK rejoining the bloc, the stalemate continues to play into the SNP’s hands politically.

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But Northern Irish politics is an entirely different world. And Brexit doesn’t look set to stop overshadowing devolution across the Irish Sea anytime soon, even if UK politicians are hellbent on ignoring the biggest elephant in the room.

The US Democrats hate the idea of Brexit.

The party and the US Government’s only real legacy in Europe since the end of the Cold War is taking some credit for the Good Friday Agreement.

Bill Clinton, who visited Northern Ireland three times while president, has been credited by some as helping to get the peace deal over the line in the final hours.

The prospect of Brexit putting any of that at risk, scares the Democrats even more than the prospect of an 80-year-old president navigating Belfast’s cobbled streets.

This fear of Brexit unravelling the Belfast Agreement is not a new concept.

Barack Obama, speaking ahead of the Brexit vote in 2016, claimed that the UK would be at the “back of the queue” in any trade deal with the US – in comments later revealed to have been inspired by David Cameron’s team.

Last year, in response to threats made by Boris Johnson that he was ready to rip up the Northern Ireland Protocol, then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi warned Congress would not approve a UK trade deal if that happened.

In out-of-character moment of tact, the US President, speaking in Belfast, simply pointed to the “complex challenges” of Brexit.

If you subscribe to the theory that a Brexit disaster could put the Good Friday Agreement at risk, you could read quite a lot into Mr Biden saying that “the democratic institutions” set up in the peace deal, such as Stormont, “remain crucial for the future of Northern Ireland”.

His speech, while tame, read the room in terms of the anxieties and uncertainty still facing Northern Ireland, while the US President remained a non-partisan bystander offering to help boost the country’s economy.

The US President and Rishi Sunak did not discuss Brexit in detail, despite it being the great big elephant in the room during Mr Biden’s visit.

The Prime Minister’s renegotiated Brexit deal, welcomed by the Biden administration, might have given him more credit from allies and opponents than his predecessor’s woeful attempt, but...

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