Joe Biden 'doesn't like’ Boris Johnson as UK-US rift opened

One of Prime Minister Johnson’s closest allies has hit out at the US President at the Conservative Party conference this week, warning Mr Biden to stay out of the Brexit debate. Lord David Frost, who led the UK’s negotiations with the EU last year, said the border question on the island of Ireland was “for us to decide and sort out with the EU as we wish”. Last month Mr Biden told the Prime Minister not to renege on treaties preventing a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic – warning that the US had “spent an enormous amount of time and effort” on the peace process. Lord Frost said: “I think this is a negotiation between us and the European Union. Outsiders are kind of interested observers, but not more than that.”

The US President has intervened on multiple occasions to warn the UK it must abide by its trade deal with Brussels.

Ashish Prashar, a Biden-Harris campaign surrogate and justice reform advocate, told Insider in January that Mr Johnson isn’t liked in the current administration in Washington.

He said: “Boris has said a lot of stuff.

“He’s aligned himself with people like Steve Bannon. He has been public about his dismissals around President Obama’s birth.”

Mr Prashar was referring to a row in 2016, when Barack Obama came out against Brexit.

Mr Johnson said the former President was opposed to Brexit because of his “part-Kenyan” heritage, comments which received widespread criticism at the time.

Mr Prashar added: “I believe the relationship between the UK and US will stay strong. There are lots of reasons we are intrinsically tied together.

“But do I believe that Boris is liked by [the new administration]? No.”

In November, a source also told the Sunday Times that ill-feeling remains over the remarks made by Mr Johnson.

One source appeared to suggest that Vice-President Kamala Harris “hates” Prime Minister Johnson, saying: “If you think Joe hates him, you should hear Kamala.”

In October last year, former UK ambassador to the US Sir Kim Darroch warned that tension between Mr Biden and Mr Johnson could remain.

He said: “I hesitate to say this, but there will be some Obama people in a Biden administration and they remember some of the things that the current Prime Minister said about Obama, whether as a newspaper columnist or whether it was Mayor of London.

“I promise you there is still some resentment and unhappiness over that. I’m not sure there will be, you know, quite the warm, welcoming embrace from Mr Biden as it would from Mr Trump.”

In 2019, after the Conservative Party led by Mr Johnson won an 80 seat majority in the general election, Mr Biden compared the UK’s leader to Donald Trump.

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He said: “Boris Johnson is winning in a walk. Look what happens when the Labour Party moves so, so far to the left. It comes up with ideas that are not able to be contained within a rational basis quickly.

“You’re also going to see people saying, my god, Boris Johnson, who is kind of a physical and emotional clone of the President, is able to win.”

While the relationship between the British and American leaders has appeared cordial at recent summits, Mr Biden dealt Mr Johnson a big blow as they met in Washington last month.

The US President played down the chances of a UK-US trade deal.

This forced Mr Johnson to concede that an agreement won’t be signed in the near future.

He said: “The Biden administration is not doing free trade deals around the world right now but I’ve got absolutely every confidence that a great deal is there to be done.”

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Professor Charles A. Kupchan told in January 2020 that a trade deal with the UK would not be a priority for Washington.

He said: “I think it would be unexpected to see a broader push towards trade liberalisation, because right now free trade isn’t an appealing stance among both parties in the US.

“There will be emphasis on improving the trade deals that America does strike, but I see that as an agenda item for four years.

“At least in year one a lot of Biden’s efforts will be going towards a domestic agenda.”