President Trump’s new ambassador to the United Kingdom has pledged that the United States will stand by its mother country come what may after Brexit.
“Britain’s decision to leave the European Union takes your country into new territory,” observed Ambassador Robert Wood Johnson, in an inaugural speech addressed to the Anglo-American Pilgrims of Great Britain society.
“But you are not heading there on your own. The United States is committed to standing with the UK through Brexit.”
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Ambassador Johnson said the U.S. wants “a strong and prosperous UK to remain a leader in Europe”, and that a “transparent, smooth, and orderly” Brexit was in everyone’s interests.
He made it very clear, however, that “whatever the outcome of the negotiations between the UK and the EU, Britain should know you will have a strong and reliable trade and investment partner in America”.
He added: “This is not just a government position. Americans trade with and invest in Britain because doing so is good business.
“This was true over one hundred years ago, when my grandfather chose the United Kingdom to establish Johnson and Johnson’s first overseas subsidiary, and is just as true today.
“Our countries are among each other’s largest inward investors. Americans and Brits hold roughly one trillion dollars of investment and employ approximately one million people in each other’s countries — jobs that have increased prosperity and opportunity in all four countries of the United Kingdom and in every American state.”
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Ambassador Johnson spoke unequivocally about “the special relationship – that indispensable alliance – that binds our two countries together”, and made it clear that that relationship was valued “deeply” by President Trump.
“One of his first actions after moving into the White House was to re-install the famous bust of Winston Churchill to its rightful place directly opposite the President’s desk in the Oval Office,” he noted.
“Nor is it a coincidence Theresa May was the first Head of Government to meet the President in the White House.
“As far as the President is concerned, the United Kingdom, our most enduring ally, is always at the head of the line.”
This stance represents a marked change from Anglo-American relations under the presidency of Barack Obama, who repeatedly snubbed and sided against Britain during his time in office, and famously threatened to send the British people to “the back of the queue” if they voted to Leave the European Union.