Boris Johnson says Trump ties won’t weaken ties with US under Biden

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Britain and the United States will work together to support democracy and tackle climate change, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Sunday, while denying that his close ties to President Donald Trump would damage relations between the Kingdom. United and the United States once President-elect Joe Biden takes office.Johnson congratulated Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on their victory and said the “common global perspective” of the two countries would be vital to consolidating a rules-based world order that is under threat.

“The United States is our closest and most important ally,” said Johnson, who has yet to speak to Biden. “And this has been the case under president after president, prime minister after prime minister. It won’t change. ”

Johnson told The Associated Press in an interview Sunday at his office at 10 Downing St. that he looks forward to “working with President Biden and his team on many things that are crucial to us in the weeks and months. to come: fight against climate change, trade. , international security, many, many, many, many, many other issues. ”

Conservative Party Leader Johnson is widely seen as an ally – and for critics a copy – of populist “America First” Trump, who endorsed Johnson as “Britain Trump.” Last year, Biden called the British leader a “clone” of Trump, and he criticized Britain’s exit from the European Union, which Johnson has championed and led.

But Johnson said “there is much more that unites the government of this country and the government in Washington at any time, at any stage, than divides us.”

“A huge amount of work” to do

“We have common values. We have common interests. We have a common global perspective, ”Johnson said. “There is a tremendous amount of work we need to do together to protect these values: a belief in democracy, in freedom of expression in the world, in human rights, in free trade, in international rule-based order. ”

He ignored suggestions that Biden’s victory would slash the chances of a UK-US trade deal and make it more urgent for Britain to strike a post-Brexit free trade deal with the EU has 27 countries.

Britain hoped to secure a quick trade deal with the United States after officially leaving the EU in January. The change of administration in Washington leaves prospects for a deal uncertain and could put pressure on Johnson to strike a deal with the EU before the UK splits from the economic bloc at the end of this year .

US should stay tough on trade

Post-Brexit trade negotiations are expected to resume on Monday, the deadline imposed by both parties in a few days.

“I have always been very enthusiastic about a trade deal with our European friends and partners,” said Johnson, who has said on several occasions that he is ready to abandon Brexit trade talks without a deal. “I think it’s here to be done. The outlines are quite clear. We just need to get them to do it if we can. ”

Johnson said he still hoped for a trade deal with the United States, but knew the Americans would be “tough negotiators.”

“I never believed this was going to be something that was going to be a cinch under a US administration,” Johnson said, adding “I think there’s a good chance we do something. “

In his first address as President-elect of the United States in Wilmington, Del., Joe Biden pledged to unite Americans and make the country “again respected around the world.” 2:30 p.m.

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