"No main ally" – the British minister predicts shut ties with Biden
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab leaves Downing Street in London following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in London
By Elizabeth Piper
LONDON (Reuters) – US President-elect Joe Biden will have no closer ally or more reliable friend than Britain, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said on Sunday, expressing his confidence that the two countries' "special relationship" would endure.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson, once affectionately known as "Britain Trump" by President Donald Trump, congratulated Biden on his victory on Saturday and looked forward to "working closely together on our shared priorities".
However, some say Johnson, a leading force in the campaign to leave the European Union, may struggle to forge a close bond with Biden, who casts doubts on Brexit and never met the prime minister.
However, Raab and other members of the ruling Conservative Party wanted to underline the extent to which the future US administration and the UK administration overlap in terms of common interests.
"I am very confident that, from climate change to working together on coronavirus and counter-terrorism, there is a huge foundation of underlying interests and values that hold us very closely together," Raab told Sky News.
"He (Biden) will have no greater ally, no more reliable friend than the UK."
Conservative former Treasury Secretary Sajid Javid reiterated his views, calling the election the "best result" for Britain and predicting that Johnson had a much better chance of sealing a trade deal under Biden than "protectionist" Trump.
After leaving the EU in January, Britain is pursuing trade deals around the world to project Johnson's vision of a "global Britain". However, talks with the United States have slowed in recent months.
But it's the UK's trade talks with the EU that could overshadow Johnson and Biden's relationship after the U.S. president-elect raised concerns over whether Britain would honor the Northern Ireland peace agreement of 1998, saying he was on one "Hoped for another result" "from the 2016 Brexit referendum.
The UK government has repeatedly announced that 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 endangering it in their talks.
US Senator Chris Coons, a Democrat, told the BBC he was expecting "a re-examination of any comments that may have been made at the time of Brexit."
"The United States and the United Kingdom have had a special relationship for decades, and I expect there will be immediate opportunities for visits and talks."
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