Joe Biden to chase ‘priority’ relationship with EU and ‘balance’ UK relationship with bloc

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President Biden took his oath of office yesterday, after which he immediately signed a chain of executive orders repealing many of the Trump administration’s actions. His presidency marks a step away from the “America first” policy of Donald Trump and towards more internationalist conduct. Many of his countries’ allies lie across the Atlantic, notably in its “special relationship” with the UK, and close ties with the European Union.

Mr Biden is proud of his European roots, as his ancestors fled Ireland for the US in the 19th century amid the British-led potato famine.

As President, he will have inherited the “special relationship” with the UK, which once served as the American path into Europe.

But the country recently parted ways with the European Union, and tensions remain across the English Channel.

Experts believe Mr Biden will prioritise a relationship with the bloc’s most prominent members.

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Professor Julian Beer, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Birmingham City University, and President of the Greater Birmingham Transatlantic Chamber of Commerce is one such expert.

He previously told the UK and US’s special relationship would change post-Brexit.

His view of the situation remains unchanged, but Professor Beer expanded on what to expect, including how Mr Biden would seek to “balance” relations between the UK and EU.

He said: “I have said before, that I think that our ‘special relationship’ in the future will be impacted post-Brexit and we would move to a different tripartite ‘special relationship’ including the EU in Washington’s approach to transatlantic relationships.”

“I have seen or heard nothing from Biden or his team to change my mind on that.

“I am sure, the new administration will be focused early in the term on repairing US relationships with Germany and France and the rest of the EU as a priority.”

Professor Beer added Mr Biden would also work as a mediator to “balance out” remaining tensions between the EU and UK.

But he added the President’s move towards the EU would not exempt the UK from a closer transatlantic relationship.

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He said: “However, I am also confident that the US will also welcome the UK as an active ally on a wider global stage on joint interests as it re-joins the global debate on the big issues.”

Boris Johnson has recently worked to ingratiate himself with the new President, having called him after last year’s election and offered his congratulations after the inauguration yesterday.

The Prime Minister has spoken at length about “shared” goals, but issues patently remain with the EU, harming unity Mr Biden hopes to foster.

The latest controversy with EU and British relations came as the bloc attempts to retain a relationship with the UK.

British officials want to deny the EU ambassador full diplomatic status currently offered to the bloc’s representatives by 142 other countries under the Vienna Convention.

The UK won’t give Joao Vale de Almeida the same honour, which would allow him to present his credentials to the Queen.

According to the BBC, the country doesn’t want to treat an international body as a nation-state.

Josep Borrell, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs, has expressed “serious concerns” in a letter to Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab.

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