UK-U.S relationship is 'indestructible' PM Johnson

Biden met with Johnson on Thursday in the English seaside town of Carbis Bay during his first trip overseas as president.

Though Johnson said the talks were "great," Biden brought grave concerns about a row between Britain and the European Union which he said could threaten peace in the British region of Northern Ireland, which following Britain's departure from the EU is on the United Kingdom's frontier with the bloc as it borders EU member state Ireland.

Asked whether Biden pressured him over the issue during discussions, Johnson said "no, the president didn't say anything of the kind". Johnson said "everybody has a massive interest in making sure that we keep the the essential symmetry of the Good Friday Agreement".

Johnson has already called on G7 leaders to commit to vaccinate the entire world by the end of 2022 and the group is expected to pledge 1 billion doses during its three-day summit in the English seaside resort of Carbis Bay.

The prime minister also said he discussed the case of Harry Dunn with the president who was "extremely sympathetic".

Dunn was a British teenager who was killed in a car crash involving a U.S. diplomat's wife, Anne Sacoolas, in 2019. The U.S. refused to extradite her last year.

Johnson and Biden will join other leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) wealthy nations begin a three day meeting in Cornwall, England, on Friday I(June 11), discussing issues ranging from COVID-19 vaccines and economic recovery to climate change and geopolitics.

Video Transcript

BORIS JOHNSON: So it's a relationship, you call it the deep and meaningful relationship. The indestructible relationship. It's a relationship that has endured for a very long time and has been an important part of peace and prosperity, both in Europe and around the world.

- What are you two going to call it now?

BORIS JOHNSON: I don't mind the phrase, special relationship because it is special. But it encompasses a reality, which is that the UK and the US have a real congruence of views on some stuff that really matters to the world. And so we believe very strongly in democracy. We believe in human rights. We believe in the rules-based international order. We believe in the transatlantic alliance. Joe Biden believes in that absolutely passionately. And we want to uphold that. We think it's been the guarantor of peace and security for a long time.

Under the COVAX program, one in three come from the Oxford/AstraZeneca deal that the UK did, allowing those vaccines to be distributed at cost. And that's before we've talked about 548 million pounds that we've contributed to COVAX, 1.6 billion to Gavi. And yes, we're putting in 5 million doses by September but we'll do a hundred million before 12 months is out. That's a huge number of extra doses. And we're working here with the rest of the G7. I think we'll have a colossal sum of vaccines that we'll be distributing.