Boris Johnson says ‘special relationship’ should be rebranded the ‘indestructible relationship’ as Joe Biden posts photo of himself giving the PM a fatherly ‘power pat’ on his shoulder… and invites Angela Merkel to the White House first
- Boris Johnson met Joe Biden for the first time yesterday ahead of the G7 summit
- Mr Johnson dislikes the term ‘special relationship’ and has suggested a rebrand
- He suggested the US-UK alliance could be known as ‘indestructible relationship’
The Prime Minister is not a fan of the historic phrase, with reports this week suggesting he believes it makes Britain seem ‘needy and weak’.
Speaking after bilateral talks with Mr Biden in Cornwall yesterday ahead of the formal start of the G7 summit, Mr Johnson said the alliance between the two nations has been a ‘guarantor of peace and security for a long time’.
He said he would be happy to call it a ‘deep and meaningful relationship’ or even an ‘indestructible relationship’.
Meanwhile, the US President said he believed the ‘special relationship’ is ‘stronger than ever’ after the talks – posting a photograph of himself putting a fatherly hand on the PM’s shoulder in his trademark ‘power pat’ move.
But the White House risked cooling the evident love-in between the leaders by announcing that Angela Merkel has been invited to the US on July 15, before Mr Johnson.
Joe Biden posted a picture of himself with a fatherly hand resting on Boris Johnson’s shoulder from their meeting yesterday
Boris Johnson has suggested rebranding the ‘special relationship’ between the US and the UK the ‘indestructible relationship’ following his first meeting with Joe Biden
Speaking after bilateral talks with Mr Biden in Cornwall yesterday ahead of the formal start of the G7 summit, Mr Johnson said the alliance between the two nations has been a ‘guarantor of peace and security for a long time’
The term ‘special relationship’ to describe the links between the UK and the US moved into the mainstream after it was coined by Winston Churchill in a speech in 1946.
Speaking at Westminster College in Missouri, Churchill said that preventing war and ensuring ‘the continuous rise of world organisation’ would only be achieved through the ‘fraternal association of the English-speaking peoples’.
‘This means a special relationship between the British Commonwealth and Empire and the United States,’ he said.
The Atlantic magazine reported earlier this week that Mr Johnson told aides he disliked the phrase after it was used by Mr Biden in a phone call between the pair.
Mr Johnson insisted in an interview with the BBC ‘I don’t mind the phrase’ but suggested he would be happy with a rebrand.
He said: ‘But you know, it encompasses a reality which is that the UK and the US have a real congruence of views on some stuff that really matters to the world.
‘And so we believe very strongly in, in democracy, we believe in human rights, we believe in the rules based international order, we believe in the transatlantic alliance. Joe Biden believes in that absolutely passionately.
Mr Biden tweeted after talks with Mr Johnson that he believes the ‘special relationship’ is ‘stronger than ever’
‘And we want to uphold that. We think it’s been the guarantor of peace and security for a long time.’
Pushed on how he would describe the alliance, Mr Johnson said: ‘We also happen to share objectives on tackling climate change and loads of other things.
‘So it’s a relationship, you can call it the ‘deep and meaningful relationship’, whatever you want, the, the ‘indestructible relationship’.
‘It’s a relationship that has endured for a very long time, and has been an important part of peace and prosperity both in Europe and around the world.’
Mr Biden tweeted after yesterday’s bilateral meeting with the PM: ‘The special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom is stronger than ever. Thank you for hosting me today, Prime Minister Johnson.’
A statement released by the White House today revealed that Mrs Merkel – who is stepping down as Chancellor soon – will be visiting next month.
‘Joe Biden looks forward to welcoming Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany to the White House on July 15, 2021,’ the statement said.
‘Chancellor Merkel’s visit will affirm the deep bilateral ties between the United States and Germany.
‘The leaders will discuss their commitment to close cooperation on a range of common challenges, including ending the COVID-19 pandemic, addressing the threat of climate change, and promoting economic prosperity and international security based on our shared democratic values.’
A statement released by the White House today revealed that Angela Merkel (pictured at the G7 today) – who is stepping down as Chancellor soon – will be visiting the US next month