Joe Biden appeared prepared to compromise his previously hardline over Britain’s Brexit row with the EU as he and Liz Truss held their first talks since she replaced Boris Johnson as Prime Minister.
The two met today at the United Nations in New York, just days after he attended the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II in London.
Amid tensions over Northern Ireland, Mr Biden, who previously has backed the EU over enforcing the protocol, said: “We are both committed to protecting the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland, I am looking forward to hearing what’s on your mind and how we can continue to cooperate.”
The meeting took place following a number of flashpoints in the run up which heightened tensions between the two key allies in Nato.
President Biden had made a remark attacking “trickle down economics” shortly after Ms Truss had effectively announced it as her economic policy.
But of more concern was the Biden administration’s refusal to consider the UK position on Northern Ireland in the brexit protocol row with the eU amid fears that Brussels is attempting to break up the UK.
Mr Biden’s comments ahead of the meeting had appeard to suggest he believed Brexit was putting the peace process at risk and Ms Truss had admitted that she had given up on a UK/ US trade deal while he was still President.
Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had further fanned the flames with a visit to Ireland this week.
But in front of the cameras Mr Biden struck a conciliatory note as he acknowledged the UK was his country’s closest and most important ally.
He extended his congratulations to Ms Truss on becoming Prime Minister and added: “I look forward to working closely with you.
“You are our closest ally in the world, there is a lot we can do and continue to do together.”
He pointed out that they were in lockstep over the war in Ukraine and a range of other issues.
He noted: “There is no issue of global consequence where the United States and the Unite Kingdom are not working in cooperation and I expect we will continue to be able to do that.”
As with the meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron it appeared that the death of Queen Elizabeth II and the state funeral had brought Britain’s allies closer together and more able to put differences aside.
Mr Biden said: “Madam Prime Minister I want to again express our condolences for the loss of Queen Elizabeth II.
“It was an honour for my wife and I to be able to pay our respects at her lying in state and attend the state funeral in London.
“I was amazed and overwhelmed by the affection of the British people and the world quite frankly – the thousands upon thousands of people who stayed all night to pay their respects.”
Ms Truss thanked the President for his welcome and his attendance at the Queen’s funeral.
She said: “I have seen an enormous outpouring f love for her her in the UK but also here in the US.”
The Prime Minister went on: “As you say Mr President we are steadfast allies.”
She also confiirmed that the UK would move to 3 percent on GDP on ddefence spending because of the increasing problem of autocracies like Russia and China exertingmore power.
On Brexit she added: “Of course, I am looking forward to discussing the Belfast Good Friday Agreement and we make sure that is upheld into the future.”
The Prime Minister is currently pushing legislation through Parliament to allow the rest of the UK to export meat, medicines and other goods to Northern Ireland which it currently would not be able to do when the protocol is fully implemented.
It will also allow Northern Ireland to enjoy VAT cuts which it also is excluded from because it is trapped in the EU single market.
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The EU has threatened a trade war and refused to compromise on the issue currently with the backing of the Biden administration.
Yesterday Ms Truss met with French President Emmanuel Macron but avoided the issue, however, she did have talks today with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
After the meeting, President Biden took to social media to emphasise the need for western unity in the face of Russian agression.
He Tweeted: “Today, I joined fellow leaders at the United Nations General Assembly with one resounding message: the nations of the world are united still. Let us stand together to declare our resolve. And bend the arc of history toward a freer and more just world for all our children.”