UK’s Biden and Johnson discuss business, train at White House meeting

WASHINGTON, Sept.21 (Reuters) – US President Joe Biden and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson discussed the dangers of climate change and scoffed at the joys of train travel on Tuesday at an Oval Office meeting aimed at highlighting evidence of the US-British alliance.

Biden told the visiting Prime Minister, who once feared his warm relationship with former President Donald Trump could damage relations under the U.S. Democratic leader, that he was eager to come to the UK for a conference on global warming later this year.

“It’s fantastic to see the United States really step up and show a lead, a real, real lead,” Johnson said, referring to the issue of global warming. Under Biden, the United States renewed its commitments to reduce greenhouse gases and pledged to fund climate change projects.

Johnson took the Amtrak train from the United Nations General Assembly in New York to Washington for the meeting. “They love you,” Johnson told Biden, apparently referring to US railroad personnel. Biden was a regular commuter train for over 30 years.

“We’re going to talk about trade,” Biden said when asked about a possible UK-US trade deal that would be of great importance to post-Brexit Britain .

Johnson first met Vice President Kamala Harris, who said the United States and Britain are more interconnected than ever. Tackling the pandemic, tackling climate change and sustaining democracy around the world remain top priorities for both countries, Harris said.

Johnson praised US military role in ‘Kabul airlift’ and thanked US government for lifting UK beef import ban imposed after cow disease outbreak last year crazy.

“I want to thank the US government, your government, for the many ways we are cooperating now, I think, on a higher and more intense level than at any time I can remember,” Johnson said.

Johnson’s team see the visit as a triumph, demonstrating that Britain can thrive on the world stage following its divorce last year from the European Union. It comes amid a rift between the United States and the EU’s rival France, in which Britain has played a crucial role.

A submarine deal that the United States and Britain recently announced with Australia came at France’s expense, prompting France to withdraw its ambassadors to the United States and Australia and to call off a defense meeting with Britain. Read more

France continues to view Britain as the junior partner in the long-standing “special relationship” between the United States and Britain, some say, years after former British Prime Minister Tony Blair was ridiculed for supporting the invasion of Iraq by US President George W. Bush in March 2003.

Reporting by Jeff Mason, Trevor Hunnicutt, Elizabeth Piper and Nandita Bose; Editing by Heather Timmons, Robert Birsel and Karishma Singh

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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