How Joe Biden’s presidency could spell trouble down the road for Boris Johnson

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Boris Johnson stuck the knife in to his old friend Donald Trump this week, describing him as the “previous President”.

Despite the President being in full-on denial over his election defeat, the PM sees where the wind is blowing and has accepted Joe Biden as the President-elect.

Many in Downing Street felt they had found a kindred spirit in Trump when he came to power four years ago.

But Trump’s successor is not as much of an admirer of Boris Johnson.

Joe Biden has described the Prime Minister as “a physical and emotional clone” of Trump. He opposed Brexit and, due to his Irish heritage, has expressed concern about its potential impact on Ireland’s economy and Northern Ireland’s security.

Here’s how the UK’s relations with the new Biden administration could end up being a struggle for Number 10 – particularly after the events of the first week.

1. Brexit

(Image: PA)

Biden and his team are unlikely to have forgotten the disrespect shown by Boris Johnson, when he was Mayor of London, towards Barack Obama.

Democrats believe Brexit was a mistake and have difficulty understanding why Johnson has rated Trump so highly.

Much will depend on whether Britain strikes a free trade deal with the EU that would cancel the need for Johnson’s Internal Market Bill, currently going through Parliament, and which US Democrats believe could undermine the Good Friday Agreement.

This potential flashpoint was made explicit in the first phone call between the two leaders earlier this week.

A readout of the call between the two from the US side said: "The President-elect expressed his interest in cooperating with the UK, NATO, and the EU on shared trans-Atlantic priorities, and reaffirmed his support for the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland."

Biden has so far failed to express thoughts on the UK accepting America’s chlorine-washed chicken or hormone-raised beef.

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2. World affairs

A Biden presidency will be more aligned to the UK Government in terms of world affairs.

His views on Russia, North Korea and China are in line with Boris Johnson’s government and Biden has suggested he would “rejoin the [Iran nuclear] agreement”.

Under Biden, the US will be less hostile towards international organisations Britain values, such as the United Nations and NATO.

America would try to repair its damaged global partnerships.

Transatlantic relations would become more straightforward and less unpredictable.

3. Climate Change

(Image: Getty Images)

He has promised to rejoin the Paris Accord and push for even more ambitious targets.

For him, the UN summit in Britain will be an opportunity to promote the idea that he will lead America to play

a large part in tackling global climate change.

The President-elect is very much aligned with the UK Government views on global warming and CO2 emissions.

He has vowed to ensure that nations come together to help protect the Earth.

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4. Harry Dunn

(Image: PA)

Although the issue is mired in legalities, a Biden administration would give renewed hope to Harry’s family that justice could be served.

The President-elect is known for his compassion and has already been approached by Harry’s mum Charlotte Charles to reverse Trump’s decision not to send Sacoolas back to the UK to face trial.

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5. The NHS

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM – JANUARY 06: Ambulances park outside the Accident and Emergency ward at St Thomas' Hospital on January 6, 2015 in London, United Kingdom. Figures released suggest that the NHS in England has missed its four-hour A&E waiting time target with performance dropping to its lowest level for a decade. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
(Image: Getty)

Biden may be a blessing to the NHS as he repeatedly attacks America’s Big Pharma and pushes for universal health care for all.

He is a vocal critic of the States’ healthcare and vowed to build upon Obamacare to help reduce the cost of medicine and treatment.

What may also be beneficial for the NHS is, while a trade deal is a crucial concern for London, he may not devote sufficient time and political impetus to the process to ensure a speedy agreement there prolonging any impact to the NHS.