Sunak-Biden Trans-Atlantic Love Affair Just Public Relations Fluff

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James Tweedie

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rishi sunak’s visit to washington dc for talks with joe biden, the anglo-american special relationship, us and british military aid to ukraine, anglo-us tensions over the northern ireland protocol

rishi sunak’s visit to washington dc for talks with joe biden, the anglo-american special relationship, us and british military aid to ukraine, anglo-us tensions over the northern ireland protocol

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s visit to Washington DC to meet President Joe Biden has long on platitudes but short on substance, yielding only the ‘Atlantic Declaration’, updating the 80-year-old ‘special relationship’ between the two nations.

Rishi Sunak’s US trip has been a mostly-fruitless photo opportunity, three academics say.

Professor Rodney Shakespeare, a political commentator and binary economist said the ‘Atlantic Declaration’ was a “falsity.”

“The USA is unlikely to allow the UK any real benefit — although, as two nations becoming aware that they are both failing, they may decide to hold hands together,” Shakespeare said. “When there is a shortage of minerals, the USA will keep the minerals to itself.”

The professor said both countries “will be massively increasing their spying – particularly on their own citizens.”

But he said the main benefit for Washington of closer ties with the UK was so “it can feel that it is a world power giving economic, political and moral leadership — all of which is a delusion.”

The Chinese flag(L) is draped beside the European Union (EU) during an EU- China Summit at the European Union Commission headquarters in Brussels on June 29, 2015 - Sputnik International, 1920, 11.05.2023

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Dr Roslyn Fuller, director of the non-profit think tank Solonian Democracy Institute, said most of the declaration would have been agreed before the White House meeting.

“However, it has started to normalize international relations after a tumultuous period – first with the pandemic and then with the war in Ukraine,” she said.

“For Sunak, it also serves to normalize his position as Prime Minister, which helps him since he became Prime Minister only after a great deal of intra-Party fighting, rather than having won an election as the Prime Ministerial candidate,” Fuller said.

Turning to the two leaders’ pledges to strengthen military cooperation — especially on arming Ukraine for its conflict with Russia, the think-tank chief said that had never been in doubt since the Second World War.

“There are elements in this Declaration which, if approved, will facilitate even easier cooperation in the defence industry, but the basic alignment on that aspect of life was already a given,” Fuller said.

US President Joe Biden and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak stop to answer more questions shouted from reporters as they go to leave a joint-press conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on June 8, 2023 - Sputnik International, 1920, 09.06.2023

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Alistair Jones, associate professor of politics at De Montfort University in the UK, said the real aim of Sunak’s visit was to “Demonstrate to the world that Britain is still an important ally of the USA and an important global player.”

He said the ‘Atlantic Declaration’ was a failure for Sunak since it falls short of his Conservative predecessor Boris Johnson’s 2019 election pledge to strike a free trade deal with Washington.

“The reasons it’s not happening ultimately stem to Brexit and the consequences of Brexit, one of which is the situation in Northern Ireland and the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland,” Jones argued.
Indeed, Biden appeared not to know who Sunak was and to ignore him when the PM welcomed the President to Belfast in April. Biden had previously mispronounced the PM’s name as “Rasheed Sunook” in public.





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