How will Biden's appointment of an anti-Brexit Secretary of State affect the UK?

24 November 2020, 15:32 | Updated: 24 November 2020, 15:34

By Fiona Jones

How will Joe Biden's appointment of an anti-Brexit Secretary of State affect the UK? Ex-US ambassador to the UN Samantha Power gives LBC an insight.

Tom Swarbrick asked ex-US ambassador to the UN Samantha Power how the UK Government should approach a Biden administration with some anti-Brexit leanings.

It comes after the President-Elect appointed Antony Blinken as his new Secretary of State, who has described Brexit as "a total mess."

“This is not just the dog that caught the car, this is the dog that caught the car and the car goes into reverse and runs over the dog,” Mr Blinken said on a podcast in October.

Ms Power said that while this is true, Mr Blinken's background must be considered: "He is probably the most vocal and well-established backer and builder of the transatlantic relationship of anybody in the foreign policy community.

"If there's anyone in Washington who could have been chosen, you have in Tony Blinken a believer that democracies need to cooperate together - particularly in light of the threats posed by China, but also the need to have leverage to get them to collaborate on a whole host of issues," Ms Power said.

She continued that Mr Blinken is a "big believer" in the Good Friday Agreement, an international treaty the Prime Minister threatened to breach in his planned Internal Markets Bill, but Mr Blinken is also a believer in the special relationship between the UK and US.

The President-Elect also spoke out against breaching the Good Friday Agreement in a Brexit withdrawal, tweeting: "We can’t allow the Good Friday Agreement that brought peace to Northern Ireland to become a casualty of Brexit.

"Any trade deal between the U.S. and U.K. must be contingent upon respect for the Agreement and preventing the return of a hard border. Period."

Ms Power told LBC that both Joe Biden and Antony Blinken are set on a transatlantic relationship "that goes way back" and Blinken especially feels Europe "very much in his blood."

"I also think that what Prime Minister Johnson did right out of gate being the first head of state to recognise the President-Elect as the legitimate winner of the election was a nice beginning," Ms Powers said, "it's a reminder that we move on and that special relationship is enduring irrespective of who holds what job."

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