US and UK launch mutual charm offensive to repair Special Relationship

US and UK launch mutual charm offensive to repair the Special Relationship as Dominic Raab praises ‘bold’ President Joe Biden and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken insists Washington has ‘no closer partner’ than Britain

  • Dominic Raab today met with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in London
  • The pair held a press conference and they both lavished praise on the other
  • Will be seen as attempt to repair Special Relationship after Trump administration
  • Mr Blinken said the US has ‘no closer ally’ and ‘no closer partner’ than the UK  

Dominic Raab today lavished praise on President Joe Biden while US Secretary of State Antony Blinken insisted Washington has ‘no closer partner’ than the UK as they launched a mutual charm offensive to repair the Special Relationship. 

Mr Raab and Mr Blinken held a press conference this evening in which the Foreign Secretary spoke of his ‘huge pleasure’ at welcoming his US counterpart to the UK. 

The Foreign Secretary was full of warm words for the Biden White House as he said it had already taken ‘a huge number of bold and very welcome steps’ on the world stage. 

Meanwhile, Mr Blinken said the Special Relationship is ‘enduring’, ‘effective’ and ‘dynamic’ as well as being ‘close to the hearts of the American people’. 

The mutual praise will be viewed as a clear attempt by both sides to repair any damage done to the links between Washington and London during Donald Trump’s time in the White House. 

Dominic Raab today lavished praise on President Joe Biden while US Secretary of State Antony Blinken insisted Washington has ‘no closer partner’ than the UK as they launched a mutual charm offensive to repair the Special Relationship

The Foreign Secretary was full of warm words for the Biden White House as he said it had already taken 'a huge number of bold and very welcome steps' on the world stage

The Foreign Secretary was full of warm words for the Biden White House as he said it had already taken ‘a huge number of bold and very welcome steps’ on the world stage

The Special Relationship was strained during Mr Trump’s presidency due to disagreements on a variety of issues like Nato military spending and climate change.    

Mr Raab and Mr Blinken signalled a reset in relations as they spoke at a press conference this evening. 

Mr Raab said: ‘It is a huge pleasure to welcome Secretary of State Blinken to the UK. Tony, it is great to have you here with us, a warm welcome.

‘I think it is fair to say the Biden administration is barely 100 days old but has already taken a huge number of bold and very welcome steps on issues like climate change, global health and human rights, and that has really created momentum in efforts to tackle these pressing global issues.

‘Since Tony’s confirmation, we have been working very closely together and today’s meeting has been another reminder of the depth and breadth of the work that we do together.’

He added: ‘Tony, again, thanks for being here, thanks for our valuable discussions today and I look forward and we look forward, to welcoming President Biden to the UK in June.’

Mr Biden’s first overseas visit as US President will be to the G7 summit in Cornwall next month. 

Mr Blinken said Mr Biden is ‘very much looking forward to being here for the G7’. 

The US Secretary of State also said he is ‘looking forward to the opportunity to meet with Prime Minister Johnson tomorrow’. 

Mr Blinken said the Special Relationship is 'enduring', 'effective' and 'dynamic' as well as being 'close to the hearts of the American people¿

Mr Blinken said the Special Relationship is ‘enduring’, ‘effective’ and ‘dynamic’ as well as being ‘close to the hearts of the American people’

Mr Raab and Mr Blinken held a press conference this evening in which the Foreign Secretary spoke of his 'huge pleasure' at welcoming his US counterpart to the UK

Mr Raab and Mr Blinken held a press conference this evening in which the Foreign Secretary spoke of his ‘huge pleasure’ at welcoming his US counterpart to the UK

On the Special Relationship, he said: ‘It is also the 75th anniversary of Winston Churchill’s famous speech at Westminster College in Missouri where he described the Special Relationship between the United Kingdom and the United States and how vital it is for our two countries and many others around the world.

‘Three quarters of a century later, that Special Relationship is enduring, it is effective, it is dynamic and it is close to the hearts of the American people.’

He added: ‘The United States has no closer ally, no closer partner, than the United Kingdom and I am very glad for the chance to say that again here today.’

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British forces could be sent to stop countries cutting down rainforests, William Hague says 

British forces could be sent to stop countries cutting down rainforests and drilling for oil, William Hague says

  • Focus of the Armed Forces could switch to guarding the natural environment
  • William Hague says it could include stopping counties cutting down rainforests 
  • He says Britain ‘cannot get away with talking the talk without walking the walk’ 

British troops could be sent in to battle to stop countries cutting down rainforests and drilling for oil, according to William Hague.

The former foreign secretary says the focus of the Armed Forces could soon switch from protecting energy supplies to guarding the natural environment.

‘In the past the UK has been willing to use armies to secure and extract fossil fuels,’ he writes in the Environmental Affairs journal. ‘But in the future, armies will be sent to ensure oil is not drilled and to protect natural environments.

British Armed Forces personnel could switch to protecting the natural environment, such as rain forests

‘The UK will need to use all of its diplomatic capacity to ensure that these resources are not used and that natural environments are protected.’

Referring to Brazil, Lord Hague predicts that ‘as climate change climbs the hierarchy of important political issues, it will be increasingly difficult to square our climate change policy with agreeing a free trade deal with a country that clears a football pitch-sized area of the Amazon rainforest every minute’.

He also says Britain is too reliant on China for the components of electric batteries, warning that ‘it is now impossible for us to remain dependent on them in such a critical area’. ‘As a result, our policies towards China and climate change have become unavoidably linked,’ he adds.

Lord Hague (pictured) says armies will be sent to ensure oil is not drilled and to protect natural environment

Lord Hague (pictured) says armies will be sent to ensure oil is not drilled and to protect natural environment

Lord Hague, who was Tory foreign secretary from 2010 to 2014, says Britain ‘cannot get away with talking the talk without walking the walk’ on climate.

The UK has launched a strategy that will see the Armed Forces going as ‘green as possible’ and last week Boris Johnson said Britain would speed up cuts to emissions so that they would be reduced by 78 per cent by 2035, compared with 1990 levels.

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