Biden to Visit UK for G7, Belgium for NATO Summit in First Foreign Trip

Democratic candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks to reporters before boarding his campaign plane at New Castle Airport in New Castle, Del., Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020, en route to Nashville, Tenn., for the final presidential debate against Republican candidate President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Joe Biden’s first foreign trip as President of the United States of America will be to the UK and Belgium in June for major international summits, the White House has confirmed.

A statement from U.S. Press Secretary Jen Psaki from Friday seen by this publication revealed that President Biden would be attending the G7 summit in Cornwall, south-west England, between June 11th and 13th, where he is anticipated to also hold bilateral meetings with fellow G7 leaders, including Conservative British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Biden will then travel to Brussels, Belgium, the effective capital of the 27-member state European Union, to take part in the June 14th NATO Summit. The president will also participate in a U.S.-EU summit, which will “underscore our commitment to a strong Transatlantic partnership based on shared interests and values” and discuss a “common agenda” on various issues, including “climate change”.

“This trip will highlight his commitment to restoring our alliances, revitalizing the Transatlantic relationship, and working in close cooperation with our allies and multilateral partners to address global challenges and better secure America’s interests,” the White House press secretary said of the overseas trip.

A British government source told Politics Home: “The PM looks forward to welcoming President Biden and other world leaders to the G7 in June.”

While notionally on the opposite sides of the political spectrum, neoliberal pro-immigration Johnson will likely have more in common with Democrat Biden than he did with former President Donald Trump, who Johnson branded “unfit to hold the office of President of the United States” when Mr Trump was a candidate for the Republican Party nomination.

On speaking to the then-president-elect after the November 2020 election, Johnson described his conversation with Biden as “refreshing”, saying that he looked forward to working with the Democrat on defending free trade, NATO, and human rights and in “the fight against climate change”.

Prime Minister Johnson and President Biden have already reportedly plotted a “green alternative” to China’s Belt and Road Initiative under their wider commitments to tackling alleged manmade climate change. Both have also used the World Economic Forum’s progressive “Build Back Better” slogan in describing their visions for the world.

Biden is also a known opponent of Brexit, in sharp contrast to his predecessor Mr Trump, saying in 2016 following referendum: “I must say we preferred a different outcome.”

He reiterated in 2018: “Had I been a Member of Parliament, had I been a British citizen, I would have voted against leaving.”

And while former president Donald Trump was keen to complete a bilateral trade deal with the UK, last month it was reported that the Biden administration was not looking at an agreement with Brexit Britain until at least 2024, with sources saying the president was focusing on domestic issues and trade with China.

President Biden also did not give a positive impression of his feelings towards Britain, when he refused to speak to the UK’s national broadcaster on account of being “Irish”.

When the BBC asked Biden for a “quick word” for British viewers in November, the president-elect responded, “The BBC? I’m Irish,” walking away with a smirk.

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