Johnson And Biden To Agree New Atlantic Charter Today

The new Atlantic Charter is modelled on the historic statement made by Churchill and Roosevelt. image: commons wikimedia

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and US President Joe Biden will sign a new Atlantic Charter and pledge to work together to tackle challenges including Covid-19 and climate change.

PM and President will meet in Cornwall for the first time later today and pledge to work. The leaders will agree a new Atlantic Charter, modelled on the historic statement made by Churchill and Roosevelt on the post-war world order.

The Prime Minister said, “While Churchill and Roosevelt faced the question of how to help the world recover following a devastating war, today we have to reckon with a very different but no less intimidating challenge – how to build back better from the coronavirus pandemic. And as we do so, cooperation between the UK and US, the closest of partners and the greatest of allies, will be crucial for the future of the world’s stability and prosperity.

“The agreements President Biden and I will make today, rooted as they are in our shared values and outlook, will form the foundation of a sustainable global recovery. Eighty years ago, the US President and British Prime Minister stood together promising a better future. Today we do the same,” he added.

The Prime Minister and President Biden are also expected to include commitments to resume UK-US travel and sign a landmark technology agreement.

Johnson and Biden will meet in-person for the first time on June 10 in Cornwall ahead of the UK’s G7 Summit, which begins on Friday.

The Atlantic Charter is modelled on the historic joint statement made by Prime Minister Winston Churchill and President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1941 setting out their goals for the post-war world.

The original Atlantic Charter included landmark agreements to promote democracy, free trade and increased opportunity for all. It was one of the greatest triumphs of UK and US relations and did more than any other agreement to shape the world order, leading directly to the creation of the UN and NATO.

The 2021 Atlantic Charter will recognise that, while the world is a very different place to 1941, the values the UK and US share remain the same. “Just as our countries worked together to rebuild the world following the Second World War, so too will we apply our combined strength to the enormous challenges facing the planet today – from global defence and security to building back better from coronavirus to stopping climate change,” Johnson said.

The new Atlantic Charter will outline eight areas where the Prime Minister and President Biden resolve to work together on “enduring values”, including defending democracy, reaffirming the importance of collective security, and building a fair and sustainable global trading system.

But the Charter will also recognise more recent challenges, such as dealing with the threat posed by cyber-attacks, acting urgently on climate change and to protect biodiversity and, of course, supporting the world to bring an end to, and recover from, the coronavirus pandemic.

The principled commitments made in the new Atlantic Charter will be underpinned by a series of new policy priorities expected to be agreed by the Prime Minister and President on June 10.

These include working to open up travel between the UK and US as soon as possible. Many people in the UK and US have been prevented from seeing family and friends for over 400 days as a result of coronavirus travel restrictions. Before the outbreak of coronavirus more than five million Brits visited the US and over 4.5 million Americans visited the UK every year – more than any other country.

A new travel taskforce which will make recommendations on safely reopening international travel. The taskforce will work to explore options for resuming up UK-US travel and ensure that the UK and US closely share thinking and expertise on international travel policy going forward.

It is also expected that the leaders will agree to pursue a landmark bilateral technology agreement to be signed next year. The agreement will start a new era of strategic cooperation by reducing the barriers British tech firms face when trying to work with their US counterparts. By combining our shared expertise in areas like AI and quantum technology, the UK and US have the potential to transform the way we live.

To strengthen UK and US efforts to beat the coronavirus pandemic and prevent any future outbreaks, the two leaders are expected to agree to scale up joint work on genomic sequencing and variant assessments. This includes the UK Health Security Agency’s new Centre for Pandemic Preparedness linking up with its US counterpart, the proposed National Centre for Epidemic Forecasting and Outbreak Analytics, as part of an integrated global surveillance system.

Discussions between the Prime Minister and President Biden are also expected to cover other areas of bilateral cooperation, including reinforcing their shared commitment to preserve the gains made by Good Friday in Northern Ireland.

The 1941 Atlantic Charter was devised at sea on board the Royal Navy battleship HMS Prince of Wales and US heavy cruiser USS Augusta. The modern namesake of HMS Prince of Wales will sail along the coast of Cornwall providing a fitting and auspicious backdrop for the Prime Minister’s meeting with President Biden. The HMS Prince of Wales is one of the UK’s two aircraft carriers and the largest warship ever built in British shipyards.

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Written by

Deirdre Tynan

Deirdre Tynan is an award-winning journalist who enjoys bringing the best in news reporting to Spain’s largest English-language newspaper, Euro Weekly News. She has previously worked at The Mirror, Ireland on Sunday and for news agencies, media outlets and international organisations in America, Europe and Asia. A huge fan of British politics and newspapers, Deirdre is equally fascinated by the political scene in Madrid and Sevilla. She moved to Spain in 2018 and is based in Jaen.