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9 November 2020

Why Joe Biden’s US election victory is good news for Boris Johnson

The president-elect is far more aligned with Johnson on issues such as climate change than Donald Trump. 

By Stephen Bush

Joe Biden has won the US presidential election, finishing a clear winner both in the electoral college and the popular vote. For all Donald Trump’s fulminations about fraud, the achingly slow declaration of results has complicated his argument  does he want counting to stop? To start again? It depends on the state.

Trump’s hope of suing his way out of electoral loss is slim as congratulatory messages flow in from world leaders across the globe, including our own Prime Minister, Boris Johnson. But the reaction to Johnson’s congratulatory tweet   one Barack Obama alum previously dubbed him a “shapeshifting creep” – underlines the difficult personal dynamic of the Biden-Johnson environment.

Among the Democratic foreign policy establishment, Brexit and Trump are two peas in a pod, and they have neither forgiven nor forgotten Johnson’s inexcusable comment that the “part-Kenyan” Obama harboured an “ancestral dislike” of the United Kingdom.

The reality though, is that the Johnson premiership doesn’t need a warm relationship with a president-elect Biden. The mere fact of a president who believes in Nato, who isn’t an opponent of multilateralism, who doesn’t regard trade negotiations as zero-sum games, and, most importantly, believes that climate change is a real and all-encompassing threat to our collective future is a boost for the policy aims and objectives of Johnson’s government  in addition to being a cause for celebration on its own terms, here and everywhere. 

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