At the first bilateral meeting in New York since UK’s PM Liz Truss took office, President Biden hailed the UK as America’s “closest ally in the world.”
Speaking on condition of anonymity about what happened in the closed room between PM Truss and President Biden at UNGA, a senior Biden administration official was caught off guard when a reporter told him the Britons “do not love” the phrase “special relationship.”
—Oh, they don’t? Senior Biden administration was in awe.
—Truss doesn’t like it, responded the reporter.
— Oh, she doesn’t? Senior Biden administration returned the question.
—Truss doesn’t like it, reporter specified.
— Is that true? Senior Biden administration official wanted to be sure.
—Yeah, insisted a member of the press.
—I didn’t even know that, responded the official. Okay, he added. (Laughter.)
—She finds it a little bit demeaning.
— Demeaning of who?, Senior Biden administration official did not understand why would Truss think that.
—Of them, the reporter clarified. She says she wishes Biden would stop using the phrase.
—She said that?, Senior administration official wanted to be sure.
—Yes, insisted the reporter.
— Joe Biden didn’t invent the phrase, responded the senior Biden administration offical. (laughter)
— Winston Churchill did. Right?, reporter pushed further on the origins of the “special relationship.”
— Well, you guys have just broken the news to me. I actually was not aware of that. So, I have no further comment — (laughter) — until I can, you know — what’s the phrase? We’ll shut it down until we can figure out what’s going on. (Laughter.) Yeah, no, I’m just kidding, said the official.
Moving on to the subject of the Northern Ireland Protocol, a senior administration official said that PM Liz Truss “sounded a constructive note about her engagements with both the European Union and the Republic of Ireland, and now we have to see where things go.”
Senior Biden administration confirmed that Biden did not place any Good Friday Agreement-related conditions on the US-UK trade deal.