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Boris Johnson: ‘The US is our closest and most important ally – that won’t change’

Written by on 8 November 2020

Boris Johnson has said America is the UK’s “closest and most important ally” – and that “won’t change” under a new president.

Congratulating both Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on their US election victory, the prime minister said the two countries would work together to support democracy and combat issues such as tackling climate change.

Mr Johnson’s comments echoed those of Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who told Sky News earlier on Sunday that the US will have “no more dependable friend” than the UK.

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Boris Johnson has had close ties with Donald Trump

“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,” Mr Johnson said. “It won’t change.”

Mr Johnson said he was looking forward to working with Mr 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”.

Dismissing the idea there may be challenges, he added that “there is far more that unites the government of this country and government in Washington any time, any stage, than divides us”.

Mr Raab, speaking on Sky News’ Sophy Ridge On Sunday, said he was “excited” to be collaborating with the new US administration.

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‘Biden will have no greater ally’

He too disregarded the suggestion of any difficulties with the new relationship, following claims from some US commentators that previous comments by Mr Johnson on Barack Obama’s Kenyan heritage had damaged ties with the Democrats.

Mr Raab said it was always possible to “pick a snippet” from social media or political activists but that evidence from his work with the British Embassy in Washington on the ground, talking to Congressional leaders, caucus leaders and to President-elect Biden over past months proved otherwise.

“I know there will always be points of tension in any relationship – particularly the deepest and most profound ones – but the bedrock, the depth and the range of things we do together, and the things that President-elect Biden wants to achieve internationally… these are all things, particularly with our G7 presidency next year and our hosting of COP 26 [climate conference], we will have huge amounts which we can cooperate on.”

Britain's Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab (L) shakes hands with US President Donald Trump at the start of the plenary session of the NATO summit at the Grove hotel in Watford, northeast of London on December 4, 2019. (Photo by Tobias SCHWARZ / AFP) (Photo by TOBIAS SCHWARZ/AFP via Getty Images)
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Mr Raab has made a number of visits to Washington and the White House during Donald Trump’s tenure

He added: “I am excited about working with the new administration and am confident the relationship between the UK and the US will thrive in the weeks and months ahead.”

However, his reassurances came just moments after former chancellor Sajid Javid took a rather more outspoken swipe at US politics, labelling Donald Trump “adolescent” and saying he had done “huge amounts to damage democracy”.

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Javid: Donald Trump ‘damaged’ US democracy

He called for people around the president to “tell him to stop” his persistent claims of voter fraud.

“The US is a beacon of democracy across the world, as we are, and he’s still doing damage because he hasn’t stopped,” Mr Javid said.

“We are privileged to have democracy, the Americans are privileged to have it. There are so many people around the world that yearn for democracy.

“And the behaviour of the US president is frankly adolescent behaviour.”

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Asked if the “best man won” the election, Mr Javid said: “I think so, yes. I do think it’s the right outcome not just for the US, that’s a decision of course for the US people, but it’s the best outcome for the UK as well.

“I also think no matter what your politics, it will be just good for us all to have some civility, some integrity and seriousness back in the White House.”