Thursday, 24 Sep 2020

No10 fears Biden will put UK ‘at back of the queue again’ amid support for Merkel and EU

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Boris Johnson and senior figures in No10 fear that a Joe Biden presidential victory in November would strength the EU’s hand in last-minute Brexit talks. The BBC’s Jo Coburn told BBC Dateline that there was “caution” over a potential Joe Biden victory over Donald Trump. There are concerns that Joe Biden would follow his predecessor Barack Obama’s lead on foreign policy, and place Germany ahead of the UK.

Barack Obama notoriously told the UK during the Brexit referendum campaign that the UK would be “at the back of the queue” for a trade deal if they voted to leave the EU.

Jo Coburn explained: “The British establishment would breathe a collective sigh of relief – privately, of course – if Biden won, just because the unpredictablability.

“That would be the first priority for them. They think a Joe Biden presidency would be some kind of return to a normality when it comes to diplomatic relationships.

“Boris Johnson and many in the Conservative party have always made quite a lot about the connection between Johnson and Trump at a personal level.”

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Coburn continued: “Boris said a few months ago that Donald Trump has many, many good qualities

“But when it comes to the dealings between the two countries – the US-UK trade deal has gone completely quiet.

“The British Government would be thinking of foreign policy going forward with a return to multi-lateral institutions, which they hope would return under Joe Biden.

“But there is a cautionary note because we just don’t know what would happen if Joe Biden wins.

“It may be that he is more like his predecessor Obama when it comes to dealing with Europe.

“Would the UK still be a bridge between the two sides, or would he follow Obama, where Angela Merkel was the one to call when they wanted to speak to Europe, instead of the UK.

“So, even with a Joe Biden, there is no certainty that the US-UK special relationship would return.”


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A leading US trade expert recently suggested Joe Biden would scupper a deal between Downing Street and the White House in favour of re-igniting a new deal between the EU and US.

Negotiations between the US and EU were halted under President Trump, but Joe Biden is said to favour a return to these talks over the offer of a trade deal between the UK and US.

Earlier this month it was reported Boris Johnson’s cabinet were “desperate” for Joe Biden to win the US election to enable more meaningful Brexit deal talks.

Last month, Boris Johnson reportedly abandoned hopes of a quick trade deal with President Trump before the presidential election.

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