Joe Biden would be ‘very realistic’ about UK’s trade struggles if he becomes president

Former foreign secretary David Miliband has told Sophy Ridge on Sunday that Joe Biden would be “warm” to the UK but also “very realistic” about issues that the country is “struggling with”.

Mr Miliband, who is now chief executive of the International Rescue Committee, said if elected president, Mr Biden “will follow the power” and on the issues of the coronavirus pandemic and climate change, suggested he would look to the EU ahead of the UK.

“He can see that in Paris and in Berlin and in Brussels you’ve got 27 countries working closely together and there’s no question in my mind that for the Biden camp, Brexit has reduced the influence of the UK,” he told the show.

US Election 2020: The biggest since 1860? Why this one really matters

US Election 2020: The biggest since 1860? Why this one really matters

Speaking from his home in New York, the former Labour minister said a Biden administration would be “warm towards the UK” but “also very realistic about the kind of issues that we are still struggling with”.

He added: “I think that puts a special premium on the British government, not just to get the trade deal with the European Union, but also to sort out the ways in which we are going to co-operate on security, intelligence and foreign policy terms.

“This is something that has made so little progress and that really leaves us in a weaker position.”

Mr Miliband also claimed the “needs, values and interests” of British consumers are “incompatible” with the priorities of American agriculture.

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“That’s just a massive stumbling block, it’s the reason why there isn’t an EU-US trade deal as well as a UK-US trade deal.”

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Quizzed on the prospect of a Donald Trump election victory, he said the UK should be most wary of his threats against NATO and China.

“I think in the event of a Trump victory, the big question for Britain becomes does he really mean what he says about neglecting NATO?

“Does he really mean what he says about confrontation with China in every area of international life?”

He added: “I think that if President Trump is re-elected then democratic countries in Europe are going to find some big questions about how they engage internationally when the US doesn’t want to engage multilaterally.”

Watch Sophy Ridge On Sunday live from 8.30am on Sunday, followed by Sophy Ridge: The Take at 9.30am

Mark Gibson

Graduates in Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 1990. Move to Los Angeles California in 2004. Specialized in Internet journalism.

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