Britain’s former ambassador to the U.S. has said there is “resentment and unhappiness” towards Boris Johnson on Joe Biden’s team, and that a Biden presidency might not give him a “warm, welcoming embrace”.
“I think they are rather torn,” said Kim Darroch, when asked which U.S. presidential candidate the British prime minister’s team would rather see in the White House next year.
“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,” Darroch explained.
The ambassador is thought to have been referring to a column which Johnson wrote for the right-leaning Sun tabloid in 2016, responding to Obama’s intervention in the then-ongoing EU referendum on the side of the anti-Brexiteers.
Johnson referenced Obama’s decision to remove a bust of Sir Winston Churchill from the Oval Office shortly after he assumed the presidency, which “some said” was a “snub to Britain” and a “symbol of the part-Kenyan President’s ancestral dislike of the British empire”.
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) November 30, 2016
“I promise you there is still some resentment and unhappiness over that,” said Darroch.
“I’m not sure there will be, you know, quite the warm, welcoming embrace from Biden for Boris Johnson, Prime Minister, as it would from Donald Trump for Boris Johnson, Prime Minister. I think there are some question marks if Biden wins,” he added.
The former ambassador’s career was, of course, laid low by President Trump, at least after a fashion, due to highly disparaging and indiscrete messages the diplomat had written about the American leader being leaked, which ultimately rendered his position in Washington untenable.
‘Anti-British’ Joe Biden Interferes in Brexit Talks, Takes EU’s Side https://t.co/cBQrbApI5y
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) September 17, 2020
Biden has already adopted something of a hostile stance towards Brexit Britain, pressuring Johnson’s government to cave into the EU’s demands — supposedly in the name of peace in Northern Ireland, although the calls for concessions are noticeably one-sided.
Trump, for his part, has backed the British-American “special relationship” enthusiastically in office, hailing Brexit, the possibility of a British-American trade deal once Britain finally reclaims its right to strike agreements from the EU, and making a point of restoring Churchill’s banished bust to its former place.
Darroch predicted that for a Biden administration, on the other hand, “a free trade deal with the UK is [not] going to be a top priority. I think maybe re-joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership [TPP] or maybe an EU-U.S. deal might be priorities.”
More broadly, Darroch gave some indication of where his personal politics lie by suggesting that “If Biden wins then life becomes to an extent more normal and NATO gets a boost from having a more congenial president of the White House and just international relations become calmer and more predictable.”
Darroch’s comments on NATO seem somewhat hard to justify, however, given the fact that has been President Trump decidedly less than congenial attitude towards “delinquent” European governments which had been consistently failing to meet their defence spending targets which resulted in them increasing their commitments.
Exclusive: Farage Calls Darroch a ‘Fanatical’ Europhile and ‘Globalist’ https://t.co/LlNEiJaKKo
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) July 12, 2019