'Our closest ally', UK PM Johnson voices confidence in U.S. ties

By Elizabeth Piper LONDON (Reuters) - The United States is Britain's closest and most important ally, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Sunday, expressing confidence he could achieve much on everything from trade to climate change with President-elect Joe Biden.

Reuters November 09, 2020 00:11:16 IST
'Our closest ally', UK PM Johnson voices confidence in U.S. ties

Our closest ally UK PM Johnson voices confidence in US ties

By Elizabeth Piper

LONDON (Reuters) - The United States is Britain's closest and most important ally, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Sunday, expressing confidence he could achieve much on everything from trade to climate change with President-elect Joe Biden.

Johnson, who was once fondly dubbed "Britain Trump" by President Donald Trump, congratulated Biden on his victory on Saturday, saying he looked forward to "working closely together on our shared priorities".

But some say Johnson, a leading force in the campaign to leave the European Union, might struggle to forge a close bond with Biden, who has in the past cast doubt over Brexit and has never met the prime minister.

Johnson, his foreign minister Dominic Raab and other members of the governing Conservatives were keen to underline how much overlap there now was between the incoming U.S. administration and that of the British government on shared interests.

"The United States is our closest and most important ally. And that's been the case under president after president, prime minister after prime minister. It won't change," Johnson told reporters, adding he had not yet spoken to the president-elect.

He said he looked forward to working with Biden and his team "on a lot of crucial stuff for us in the weeks and months ahead: tackling climate change, trade, international security. Many, many, many, many, many other issues".

Raab went further by saying Biden would "have no greater ally, no more dependable friend than the United Kingdom". Former finance minister Sajid Javid predicted a much better chance of sealing a trade deal under the new administration rather than the "protectionist" Trump.

Britain is pursuing trade deals around the world after leaving the EU in January, to try to project Johnson's vision of a "global Britain", but talks with the United States have slowed over the last few months.

Describing himself as a "keen student of the United States' trade policy", Johnson said he believed there was a good chance the two sides would "do something on trade" despite Washington being "tough negotiators".

But it is Britain's trade talks with the EU that might cast a shadow over the relationship between Johnson and Biden, after the U.S. president-elect expressed concerns over whether Britain would uphold Northern Ireland's 1998 peace agreement and said he had hoped for a "different outcome" from the 2016 Brexit referendum.

The British government has repeatedly said it will uphold the Good Friday Agreement, which ended 30 years of violence in the British province of Northern Ireland, and on Sunday, Raab accused the EU of putting it in jeopardy.

U.S. Senator Chris Coons, a Democrat, told the BBC he expected "some reconsideration of whatever comments may have been made about the moment of Brexit".

"The special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom has endured over decades and I expect that there will be opportunities promptly for there to be some visits, some conversations."

(Reporting by Elizabeth Piper; Editing by Mark Heinrich and Frances Kerry)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

U.S. data suggest economic recovery may be weakening
Business

U.S. data suggest economic recovery may be weakening

By Howard Schneider WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The explosive surge in U.S. coronavirus cases this fall has left a question hanging: When will the economy take its own turn for the worse

Fed, ECB heads give COVID-19 vaccine cautious welcome
Business

Fed, ECB heads give COVID-19 vaccine cautious welcome

FRANKFURT/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The heads of the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank welcomed the encouraging results in trials of a vaccine candidate for the novel coronavirus but stressed that the economic outlook will remain uncertain. Fed chair Jay Powell and ECB President Christine Lagarde said the economy was still in for a tough time even if the development of a potential vaccine by U.S. drugmaker Pfizer and German partner BioNTech SE was reason for some optimism further ahead

India's October fuel demand marks first year-on-year gain in 8 months
Business

India's October fuel demand marks first year-on-year gain in 8 months

By Sumita Layek (Reuters) - India's fuel consumption in October registered its first year-on-year increase since February, as slowing coronavirus cases and increased mobility accelerated an economic recovery, data showed on Thursday.