Although known not to be keen on the well-worn phrase “special relationship”, believing it makes the UK look weak, British PM Boris Johnson has told the BBC the alliance between the United States and the UK is “indestructible relationship” after meeting U.S. President Joe Biden for the first time.
“Look, I don’t mind the phrase ‘special relationship’ because it is special. But you know, it encompasses a reality which is that the UK and the US have a real congruence of views on some stuff that really matters to the world. And so we believe very strongly in democracy, we believe in human rights, we believe in the rules-based international order, we believe in the transatlantic alliance,” Johnson said.
“It’s a relationship that has endured for a very long time, and has been an important part of peace and prosperity both in Europe and around the world,” he added after meeting Biden in Carbis Bay, Cornwall, on Thursday ahead of the G7 summit of world leaders.
According to the British PM, UK and U.S. share similar belief in human rights, the rules-based international order and the transatlantic alliance, updating their World War II-era ‘Atlantic Charter’ that focuses on full-throttle liberalism that the Trump interrupted with his transactional ‘America First’ foreign policy.
“We affirmed the special relationship between our people, and renewed our commitment to defending the enduring democratic values that both our nations share,” Biden said after the signing, keen to declare the return of that system after Trump was the first U.S. leader to truly break with the post-war tradition of liberal globalism.
Johnson praised Biden’s desire to bring back classic Western-led globalism, describing dealing with Biden as “a breath of fresh air,” and said he was impressed by Biden’s willingness to do things together,” be they “security, NATO [or] climate change.”
Although Britain and the EU are at loggerheads over the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol (NIP) – the part of the Brexit deal that prevents checks along the Irish border- with Biden previously warning that the new arrangements shouldn’t jeopardise the Good Friday Agreement, Johnson has played down differences with Washington, expressing confidence they could reach an agreement on the issue.
“One thing we all absolutely want to do … is to uphold the Belfast Good Friday Agreement, and make sure that we keep the balance of the peace process going. That’s absolutely common ground, and I’m absolutely optimistic that we can do that”, said the UK prime minister.
Asked if Biden had expressed his concerns, Johnson said: “No, the president didn’t say anything of the kind.”