Joe Biden's Secretary of State pick Tony Blinken said Brexit was like a dog being run over by a car and a 'total mess'

  • Antony Blinken, Joe Biden's reported pick for Secretary of State, last year said Brexit was a "total mess" and likened it to "the dog that caught the car and the car goes into reverse and runs over the dog."
  • Blinken, who served as Deputy Secretary of State from 2013 to 2015, also said it "clearly" would have been in the United States' interest to keep the UK in the EU.
  • President-elect Biden is also firmly opposed Brexit, and in October warned Boris Johnson not to let Brexit undermine the Good Friday Agreement on the island of Ireland.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Joe Biden's pick for Secretary of State Antony Blinken last year described Brexit as a "total mess" and said that the process resembled a dog being run over by a car, in comments that further underline the stark policy differences between the incoming White House administration and the UK government.

Biden has reportedly chosen his long-time adviser Antony Blinken, who served as Deputy Secretary of State under President Obama, as his Secretary of State when he enters office in January.

Speaking on the "Pod Save America" podcast in March last year, Blinken — who served as Biden's chief foreign policy adviser during the presidential campaign — said that Brexit was a "total mess," adding: "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."

Blinken's comments came when former Prime Minister Theresa May was struggling to secure approval for her proposed Brexit deal in parliament, but he also emphasised that he was ideologically opposed to the UK's departure from the EU.

He went on to suggest that "our interests clearly would have been in keeping Britain in" and said that the Irish peace process would be"a heck of a lot tougher" after Brexit, in comments which were first reported by the Times of London newspaper.

Blinken added that Ben Rhodes, co-host of Pod Save America and an Obama-era White House staffer, was "exactly right" in his characterization of Brexit as having "shitty consequences" for the British economy and said that it was "clearly" in US interests for the UK to remain in the EU.

Blinken's comments underline the stark ideological differences between Boris Johnson's government and the incoming White House administration. President-elect Biden was firmly opposed to Brexit and in October publicly warned Boris Johnson not to undermine the Good Friday Agreement in his pursuit of a favorable trade deal with the EU.

The president-elect took a congratulatory phone call with Johnson on the phone the week before last and was reported to have warned Johnson twice to pressure Johnson over his Brexit plans.

Biden is also said by campaign staffers to harbour a degree of personal animosity towards the prime minister, who he last year described as "kind of a physical and emotional clone" of President Trump. 

Johnson's tweet congratulating Biden for his victory earlier this month was subsequently found to contain remnants of an earlier draft congratulating Donald Trump instead.

Negotiators from the UK and EU are entering what may be the final week of talks as they attempt to agree on the terms of a Brexit deal. Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission president, last week hailed "better progress" in talks but warned that both sides had not reached an agreement, meaning that a no-deal Brexit remained a possible outcome. 

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