The big win for Johnson was getting his 90 minutes in the Oval Office

The big win for Johnson was getting his 90 minutes in the Oval Office

The important thing for Johnson on his US trip was that unlike many other foreign leaders he had his 90 minutes in the Oval Office with Biden. Even though the US is not quite as powerful as it was pictures like the one above are much treasured by foreign leaders.

In terms of policy the big development this week is Biden’s lifting of the ban from November of UK and EU citizens being able to enter the US. This has been closed since Trump put up the barriers in March 2020 as one of his first measures on Covid. Many had hoped this would have been lifted much earlier. Getting change on this was one of the key Johnson objectives and, no doubt in anticipation of yesterday’s meeting an announcement was made by the White House on Monday.

Another big objective for Johnson has been to make the coming Glasgow climate change conference meaningful. This is how Beth Rigby from Sky News is reporting it:

President Biden has leaned in this week, putting hard cash into climate aid, while Beijing has also announced it has stopped building coal plants overseas. Two big ticks, but still so much more to do 40 days out from COP26

One thing that Biden did and which Johnson will be foolish to ignore was the President’s warning that peace in Northern Ireland must not be jeopardised as a result of Brexit. The US played a big part in the Good Friday Agreement and Biden himself is of Irish descent.

Mike Smithson

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