Boris Johnson: 'The US is our closest and most important ally - that won't change'

Both the prime minister and the foreign secretary have said they are looking forward to working with Joe Biden and his team.

Boris Johnson has said America is the UK's "closest and most important ally" - and that "won't change" under a new president.

Congratulating both Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on their US election victory, the prime minister said the two countries would work together to support democracy and combat issues such as tackling climate change.

Mr Johnson's comments echoed those of Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who told Sky News earlier on Sunday that the US will have "no more dependable friend" than the UK.

"The United States is our closest and most important ally... and that's been the case under president after president, prime minister after prime minister," Mr Johnson said. "It won't change."

Mr Johnson said he was looking forward to working with Mr Biden and his team "on a lot of crucial stuff for us in the weeks and months ahead: tackling climate change, trade, international security, many, many, many, many, many other issues".

Dismissing the idea there may be challenges, he added that "there is far more that unites the government of this country and government in Washington any time, any stage, than divides us".

Mr Raab, speaking on Sky News' Sophy Ridge On Sunday, said he was "excited" to be collaborating with the new US administration.

He too disregarded the suggestion of any difficulties with the new relationship, following claims from some US commentators that previous comments by Mr Johnson on Barack Obama's Kenyan heritage had damaged ties with the Democrats.

Mr Raab said it was always possible to "pick a snippet" from social media or political activists but that evidence from his work with the British Embassy in Washington on the ground, talking to Congressional leaders, caucus leaders and to President-elect Biden over past months proved otherwise.

"I know there will always be points of tension in any relationship - particularly the deepest and most profound ones - but the bedrock, the depth and the range of things we do together, and the things that President-elect Biden wants to achieve internationally… these are all things, particularly with our G7 presidency next year and our hosting of COP 26 [climate conference], we will have huge amounts which we can cooperate on."

He added: "I am excited about working with the new administration and am confident the relationship between the UK and the US will thrive in the weeks and months ahead."

However, his reassurances came just moments after former chancellor Sajid Javid took a rather more outspoken swipe at US politics, labelling Donald Trump "adolescent" and saying he had done "huge amounts to damage democracy".

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