Boris Johnson has scored an early diplomatic win with the UK changing into the primary international vacation spot for Joe Biden since he turned US president.
However it’s extra because of good timing than the particular relationship – a time period the prime minister reportedly does not like anyway as a result of he thinks it sounds weak and needy.
As host of the Group of Seven (G7) industrialised nations this yr, Britain is offering the platform for world powers to assemble for the primary time in individual because the COVID-19 pandemic swept throughout the globe.
It offers Mr Johnson a major alternative, earlier than group diplomacy kicks off on Friday, to safe some one-on-one time with Mr Biden and to resume UK-US ties after 4 turbulent and unpredictable years underneath Donald Trump.
But, regardless of all of the values the 2 international locations share, their deep safety ties and long-running friendship, this may not be all smiles and pleasant elbow bumps.
Mr Biden represents a return to a extra typical American chief, unashamedly supportive of trans-Atlantic ties, multilateral organisations and the elemental significance of democratic values.
However he’ll unlikely have the identical chemistry with the British prime minister as his predecessor did.
Mr Johnson, along with his blonde hair and popularity of a disruptor of the established order – embodied by Brexit – was typically dubbed ‘mini Trump’ – a label that he shall be eager to shake as he builds his friendship with the brand new administration.
This US president, not like Mr Trump, can be no fan of the UK’s resolution to go away the European Union.
He’ll really feel no explicit urge to place Britain on the entrance of the cue for any commerce deal – a prospect dangled by his predecessor however by no means sealed.
Then there may be the numerous subject of the impression on Northern Eire of the UK’s Brexit deal.
Mr Biden has been clear he is not going to settle for any motion by Britain or the EU that additional endangers the Good Friday settlement, which is already underneath pressure.
As well as, what’s going to the US chief make of the UK authorities’s resolution to shelve “briefly” a promise to satisfy a UN goal of spending 0.7% of nationwide revenue on international assist at a time when the world’s poorest need assistance from the richest greater than ever?
A £4bn minimize in abroad assist means the UK is the one G7 nation decreasing the quantity it spend on serving to creating nations.
That mentioned, the UK and the US have all the time had their variations.
It’s their frequent objectives and values that makes this bilateral relationship so very important to each side and the remainder of the world’s democracies.
At a time of a rising authoritarian China and with threats from Russia nonetheless acute, Mr Johnson and Mr Biden will finally wish to strike a united entrance, figuring out that each one democracies are stronger once they work collectively.