FE Today Logo
Search date: 10-11-2020 Return to current date: Click here

Johnson seeks new UK bond with Biden

November 10, 2020 00:00:00

LONDON, Nov 09 (AP): Boris Johnson's famous charm worked wonders on Donald Trump, but he faces a tougher audience in Joe Biden.

Britain's prime minister promised Sunday to work with the U.S. president-elect to spread democracy, defend human rights and combat climate change, as he sought to woo a leader who sees the world very differently to the outgoing American leader.

In an interview with The Associated Press in 10 Downing St.. Johnson stressed the strength of trans-Atlantic ties, saying the two countries' "common global perspective" would be vital to shore up a rules-based global order that is under threat.

"The United States is our closest and most important ally," said Johnson, who hasn't yet spoken to Biden since he became president-elect. "And that's been the case under president after president, prime minister after prime minister. It won't change."

It won't change, but it may be strained. Britain's vote to leave the European Union, a cause Johnson championed, and Trump's election happened within a few months of each other in 2016. Ever since, many have seen the two events as twin eruptions of populism.

Conservative Party leader Johnson is widely seen as an ally - and to critics, a copy - of the "America First" Trump, who has referred to Johnson approvingly as "Britain Trump." Johnson has praised Trump's handling of the U.S. economy and his deal-making skills.

Biden has called the British leader a "clone" of Trump, and has warned that Brexit will leave Britain's status "diminished."

Johnson on Sunday stressed his commitment to internationalism, particularly in the fight against climate change, an issue where he and Biden share a common view. While Trump has dismissed the threats posed by a changing climate and pulled the U.S. out of the Paris climate accord - a decision Biden says he will reverse - Johnson aims to reduce U.K. carbon emissions to net zero by 2050.

Britain is due to host the COP26 global climate summit in 2021, a year later than planned due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Share if you like