Biden is Better for Britain and for Boris! – Conservative Article
Joe Biden is now the President-Elect, ignoring any post-election changes. It means that he will be working closely with many countries, including the UK. This means that Biden will be working with Johnson, and I believe that not only will it be beneficial for the UK but for Johnson and the Conservative Party electorally.
Firstly, let me address the biggest policy difference between the two: Brexit.
Joe Biden did not agree with the UK pursuing Brexit. More recently, he commented on Twitter on the Internal Market Bill that Northern Ireland shouldn’t become a casualty of Brexit. This led to Johnson and Raab both claiming that they will uphold the Good Friday Agreement just after Biden was elected. Although, by the time Biden becomes president, the process of Brexit will be over. The transition period ends on 1 January 2021 and Biden is inaugurated on 20 January 2021.
Regarding a trade agreement: with Biden in charge, there will be a better, less exploitative trade deal to have, which Johnson can capitalise on electorally. Trump might have given us a trade deal, but it would have benefitted America first. Under Biden, it will benefit both countries.
The biggest way Biden can help Johnson is to dispel the image that Johnson is “Britain Trump”. Despite what people would have you believe, Johnson is not the UK’s version of Donald Trump. However, that image seems to have stuck. Working with Biden, Johnson will be able to remove the image of Trump from his persona. And, insofar as Johnson being like Trump, he will now pivot away from this as it is no longer popular (proved by Trump’s loss, but not the Republican Party as a whole). This will be important for Johnson if he fights in 2024, as it will improve his credibility and image.
Clear evidence of this is the exit of Dominic Cummings and Lee Cain; representing the ending of an era of confrontational politics. Johnson is seeking a more consensual style of politics in 2021 according to the Financial Times.
While Biden himself claims Johnson is a “physical and emotional clone” of Donald Trump, Democrat Senator for Delaware Chris Coons disagrees. In an interview for Andrew Marr, he said that the Prime Minister “struck [him] as someone who is more agile, engaging, educated and forward-thinking than perhaps the caricature of him in the American press”. On Johnson’s past comments on Obama, he says that while they were not well received, it’s important not to relitigate comments from the past. His opinion is particularly important because he is a close friend of Biden’s and a potential for his new Cabinet.
The second way Biden can help Johnson is on is their shared policy areas.
Biden made climate change a big part of his policy, including aims of making America carbon neutral by 2050 and developing climate research. In a debate, he said that he would transition away from the oil industry. Johnson has a similar agenda. The UK is also aiming to be carbon neutral by 2050.
The 26th Conference of the Parties is going to be held in Glasgow in 2021, where both the UK and the US can show their commitments to lowering emissions and other environmental issues. This is important as there is high concern for the climate in the UK. Therefore, a successful collaboration will help not just the planet but electorally for Johnson.
Internationally, Biden will now seek to repair the damage done by an isolationist Trump. This will be beneficial for Johnson as well, as the UK is set to chair the G7 and the UN in February. It is important to have a pro-international White House as cooperation in these facilities are key to their success. This is key to fulfil the vision of Global Britain.
On security matters, Biden intends to stand up to China and Russia and do so with his allies instead of alone. This gives Johnson the chance to take action on both of these threats, something my liberal colleague called him out for. Taken with the US, UK action will be meaningful. Biden also intends to repair the damage Trump did to NATO, which is something the UK remained committed with its 2% spending. Biden will notice that.
Finally, under Biden, there will be more predictability. He is a politician with nearly 50 years on the job, meaning his views are clear. You cannot say the same for Trump. This in turn makes Biden’s actions clearer. Another way Biden is clearer is that he does not use Twitter to govern like Trump. This means an announcement is clearly signalled and doesn’t need you to have notifications turned on to see it. Because of this, the UK government’s response can be clearer.
Biden’s win is good for the UK, better than a second term of Trump. It gives Johnson a chance to pivot away from the perception of Trump, and the shared policy goals will yield better results than a misalign on Brexit. This in turn will mean a more successful foreign and climate policy for Johnson. These things will give Johnson (or his successor) a better chance to win in 2024.
With a more internationalist president, chances for meaningful cooperation are high. For all the closeness to Trump, what did it achieve?
Written by Senior Conservative Writer, Kieran Burt
Point of Information
Biden may not be enough to counter BoJo’s mistakes – A Labour Response
Biden’s win will for sure have far-reaching positive effects. Kieran does well to highlight some of these.
For me, I am most excited to see how Biden tackles climate change. By supporting and re-joining the Paris Agreement, he will not only be tackling a major global emergency, but he will also benefit the UK, among other countries, both economically and electorally. Shared interests are almost always key to foreign relations.
More generally, unless you are one of Trump’s loyal supporters, I suppose we can all agree that everything will be “less exploitative” with Biden in charge – not just a trade deal. Biden will certainly bring a lot more stability and predictability. But only as much predictability as politics will allow for. We all know by now that politics can change in the blink of an eye.
This is why Kieran’s focus on electoral benefits for Johnson puzzles me. The political climate in 2024 will look a lot different to now.
I also think Kieran’s article overestimates Biden’s weight on the UK electorate. Will a positive foreign relation be enough for the UK to forget about the mistakes of Johnson’s inaugural year? Security matters are not the only issues our liberal colleague pointed out.
Whatever happens, Biden will definitely benefit the UK. Whether or not he benefits Johnson’s potential victory in 2024 is another story.
Written by Co-Chief Labour Writer, Abi Clargo
Biden will help Britain but Brexit will be a sticking point – A Liberal Response
Biden’s electoral victory is significant in many ways for Britain. But, as my Conservative colleague says, Brexit could be a big sticking point.
We saw recently that the House of Lords voted to remove many clauses from the Internal Market Bill “safety net”. The Prime Minister has said that he will use his majority in the Commons to overturn this. Biden will not be happy with Boris’ remarks here, but in a fight between his own MPs and the US President, the Commons will normally always come first.
I have to disagree with Kieran where he says that the Brexit process will be over – yes, we will have left the EU, but that is really only the start of the process. Biden and Johnson will have to pursue a bilateral trade agreement as a priority.
I agree with Kieran that Biden will help the PM get away from this Trump-like persona. I’m sure that with the President’s current actions, this is something he will be rather keen to do. It will, as Kieran says, do wonders for the PM in the next election (should he choose to stand, although I can’t see him not).
The big win for Britain, and the world, is that the leader of the hegemon in the neo-liberal order is once again an internationalist. There will be no more ‘America first’. This is promising for the UK on climate change as Kieran states, but also a whole host of other global issues.
I do have to disagree with Kieran on one other thing; Biden being better for NATO. Whilst Biden’s internationalist stance will, of course, be good, I think it is unfair to say Trump damaged NATO. The pressure the US put on NATO members to pay their fair share is completely justified in my eyes, and whilst NATO members have survived Trump’s pressure, they will not forget it in a hurry.
Written by Senior Liberal Writer, Fergus Harris