The Prime Minister met US President Biden at the White House today.
The leaders welcomed the important developments in the UK-US relationship that have taken place since they last met in June, particularly in the areas covered by the new Atlantic Charter they agreed in Cornwall including security, science & technology, trade, health and climate action.
The President and Prime Minister agreed that the new AUKUS alliance, announced last week, was a clear articulation of the UK and America’s shared values and approach to the world. They underscored the important role the alliance will play in promoting peace and stability around the world, harnessing British, American and Australian expertise to solve future challenges.
The leaders welcomed the close cooperation between our countries during the NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan. The Prime Minister expressed his condolences for the American servicepeople killed during the operation. The Prime Minister and President Biden agreed that the best way to honour all those who gave their lives to make Afghanistan a better place will be to use all the diplomatic and humanitarian tools at our disposal to prevent a humanitarian crisis and preserve the gains made in Afghanistan.
To that end, they discussed the progress made since the G7 meeting last month to coordinate international action on Afghanistan. They agreed that any international recognition of the Taliban must be coordinated and contingent on the group respecting human rights.
The Prime Minister welcomed President Biden’s leadership on the issue of climate, and his announcement today that the US would double its climate finance commitment. The leaders agreed on the need for G7 countries to deliver on the promises made in Carbis Bay, particularly with regard to phasing out the use of coal and supporting developing countries to grow cleanly. They agreed the Build Back Better World Initiative would be crucial in achieving this. The Prime Minister said he looks forward to welcoming the President to the COP26 Summit in Glasgow.
The Prime Minster and President Biden also agreed on the need to increase international vaccine access to deliver on the commitment made in Cornwall to vaccinate the world by the end of next year. They noted that the success of the British and American vaccine rollouts has been instrumental in allowing UK-US travel to resume. The Prime Minister welcomed the US announcement that they will allow double vaccinated British nationals to enter the country from November, a move which will allow families and friends to reunite and will help stimulate our economies.
The Prime Minister updated President Biden on the developments with respect to the Northern Ireland Protocol since they last met in June. The leaders agreed on the importance of protecting peace in Northern Ireland.
The Prime Minister welcomed the resolution of the Airbus-Boeing trade dispute earlier this year. The whisky tariffs lowered by the US as well as President Biden’s decision to lift the ban on British beef will boost UK-US trade, already worth £200 billion a year. The leaders agreed to continue working towards a future full Free Trade Agreement.
The Prime Minister and President also talked about a number of international issues including China and Russia. They agreed the UK and US would continue to have an approach to these issues driven by our shared values and the Prime Minister looked forward to the President’s Summit for Democracy which will help drive international action.