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What is the future for UK-US relations?

09:13 UK time, Tuesday, 20 July 2010

British Prime Minister David Cameron has said he wants diplomats to use every opportunity to win orders for UK firms on the last day of his US trip. What will his visit achieve?

Speaking in New York, David Cameron has promised to transform British foreign policy so that it is focused primarily on promoting UK businesses abroad.

Since Mr Cameron's arrival in the US on Tuesday, a row has erupted over the release of the Lockerbie bomber, Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi.

Both Mr Obama and Mr Cameron have condemned the decision to free Megrahi.

Does a "special relationship" still exist? What impact will the BP oil spill and the Lockerbie bomber's release have on UK-US relations? Should the relationship focus on the promotion of business?

Listen to Radio's 4 Today programme: Special Relationship "still important".

Comments

Page 1 of 12

  • Comment number 1.

    What is the future for UK-US relations?

    Hopefully an increase in the political distance between the two countries, whilst the citizenship of the two nations continue a healthy mutual respect for eachothers cultures.

    Thats if we can both ignore the efforts of the Anti-US/Anti Brit aggro merchants who seem to enjoy nothing more than attempting to sour Anglo/US relations through forums such as this...

  • Comment number 2.

    The Senate seems to be pointing the finger at Britain over everything under the sun and President Obama's language has certainly NOT been Presidential.

    Maybe the Democrats are fearing defeat in the November elections and are battering the Brits as though they are fighting the War of Independence, again, over 200 years later.

    Well, we know who are friends are and when they turn to us for help, I hope we use the same language (and tone) as they have been using towards us in recent months.

    We're certainly not the poodles of the US. Maybe we ought to become their rottweiller and show OUR teeth?

    If we are their best friend, they certainly ought to show some more respect.

  • Comment number 3.

    Long term the relationship is good. Short term not so good, but this US administration won't last another term due to their incompetence.

  • Comment number 4.

    With America's blame first policy on full throttle at the moment, I believe the visit will achieve nothing, all that will happen is Mr Cameron will get a roasting, be belittled and expect to give America more money for damages.

    This will only change when America can learn to accept a portion of the blame.

  • Comment number 5.

    With any luck it will cool considerably.

  • Comment number 6.

    I think the special relationship will resume after obama has left. The US and UK stand together when the rest of the world debates bananas or cant be bothered.

  • Comment number 7.

    What is the future for UK-US relations?

    'AAAaaaargh, for &*$£'s sake stop tipping water down my throat. I swear i know nothing about any BP lobbying.....'

  • Comment number 8.

    Regardless of whether we had a special relationship or not, as President Obama doesn't like the British, we clearly can't have one now.

    Personal likes and dislikes and chips on shoulders should not come into politics. If they do, you're the wrong person for the job.

    BP is not owned by Britain - almost 50% of it is owned by Americans. So the spill and the release of the Lockerbie bomber should not affect the relationship, insofar as BP is concerned.

    But as President Obama will probably still rant on about British Petroleum, as opposed to BP which is a separate company, I imagine that whatever is left of the special relationship will be in tatters, at least as far as the British public is concerned, whatever David Cameron may have to say about it afterwards.

  • Comment number 9.

    I wish the BBC in particular would stop obsessing about the US and the so-called 'special relationship'.

    The way the BBC went completely overboard in it coverage of the US Obamelections was wrong mainly because it was so partisan and tedious.

    But it was part of a BBC tendency to over-focus on the US to the detriment of coverage of other parts of the world.

    For example, a train crash killing 40 people in the US would dominate the BBC's news output for days. When the same thing happens in India, the BBC barely mentions it.

    The US is the world's major power, but the BBC should lose its obsession with it.

  • Comment number 10.

    I'm afraid that with Mr Obama in the White House relations will only be on a downward spiral. He is in a lot of trouble back home and will look for any diversion the deflect peoples attention.

  • Comment number 11.

    The same as it has always been, the yanks say jump and our PM asks how high!

    No signs of Cameron developing any guts and telling the yanks to mind their own business.

    Of course why the idiot Clinton wants to discuss Megrahi with Cameron is beyond me, doesnt the woman know what devolution means. Someone should tell her it is the slightly chunky scottish bloke she really wants to talk to......

  • Comment number 12.

    As far as I can see, despite what Cameron is saying, the 'special relationship' is continuing as normal. Cameron is going to grovel to some US senators over a decision taken in the UK over a crime committed in UK territory.
    Last time I looked the UK was a sovereign nation not a US state. There was enough debate on this issue here ,when was the last time a US President apologised to a Parliamentary committee over some decision they took which ruffled some domestic UK feathers.
    The Tory Party is still acting as the UK branch of the Republican Party.
    Nothing changes.

  • Comment number 13.

    "Special relationship" - doesn't exist, never has. From Wilson onwards the US Presidents have seen the UK as little more than a useful tool in their political, economic and military pursuits. The US expects the UK to follow wherever it leads.

    Cameron will be no different than previous PM's. In fact he is already showing his true colours by agreeing to see those four politicians instead of telling them to shove off. Obama has made it plain that the UK is a long way down the pecking order when it comes to his priorities.

    Instead of clinging to the US coat tails we should be forging links with China and India and getting far more involved with the EU.

  • Comment number 14.

    Just remember that you need to get behind someone first before you stab them in the back.

  • Comment number 15.

    6. At 09:46am on 20 Jul 2010, in_the_uk wrote:
    I think the special relationship will resume after obama has left. The US and UK stand together when the rest of the world debates bananas or cant be bothered.

    ---

    We don't though we stand in the US's shadow and most of the world doesn't even notice us.

    thats why we need more political distance.

    Where was the US support during the UK's recent spat with Argentina?

    Why does the president of the US keep calling BP British Petroleum?

    Why do we have an extradition treaty with the US which pretty much means that they can claim anyone they want on UK soil but they don't have to give us jack?

    Culturally we share and will hopefully always share a lot of common ground with our US cousins.

    Politically we're better off on our own than in the completely one-sided political relationship we have now.

  • Comment number 16.

    My perception of the special relation is that the UK is the underdog and the US is a bully who threatens and intimidates to force it to do its bidding. Mrs Thatcher did some damaging stuff at home, but at least when she was our leader the US-UK relationship was on a more equal footing.
    'Yo' Blair truly was Bush's poodle; hopefully Cameron has enough about him to restore some balance.

  • Comment number 17.

    cameron is useless anyway, and this will prove nothing. He's only in power until the inevitible strikes happen, then he'll be out on his ear

  • Comment number 18.

    I hope they will talk about Gary McKinnon, but I do not hold much hope in our "great leader".

    I suspect like all tories he will be more interested in being america's yes man.

  • Comment number 19.

    It is time to be realistic about US-UK relations. Demographically, the USA is shifting away from this country, although we still share similar forms of government and administration, based on the idea of democracy. We share a similar language, although that may now be changing as Spanish becomes the first language of many Americans. America always will act only in its own interests. If these happen to coincide with ours, then fine, but that will not always be the case and on those occasions we must be prepared to say so. We must recognise also that in many areas, the USA and EU are more rivals than partners. Reality not sentiment must colour our attitudes and policy when dealing with the USA. They are a superpower; we are a small (broke) province of the EU super state. Germany and France are rated more highly in US eyes than we are, but it remains in their interests to let us keep the Trident weapon delivery system (for the time being). We must at least try and be masters of our own back yard and be prepared to speak out when we believe the USA to be mistaken or even wrong.

  • Comment number 20.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 21.

    I think you have to look at the similarities, both brought up with very sketchy murderous imperialistic pasts, and both now support attrocities in Israel further cementing the anglo supremacy they both seek over the world! both want the third world to not develop and continue to war with each other and them as it profits both countries interests, and domestically they both have defunct family values! I think its a match made in heaven, all the US has to do is every now and again give the UK a little belly rub so it can send more troops to die for US interests! the reason why the english are feeling so low is that they no longer feel in control of their own destiny! hated by everyone and because they did not have a choice to join the war or not, too many white extremsists could be heard when asking!

  • Comment number 22.

    Hopefully a lot less fawning over the US & President by the BBC. But I think the special relationship ended back in 2006 when Britain payed off its $4.3 billion 2nd World War debts to America.

  • Comment number 23.

    With friends like the USA, who needs enemies?

    Their support of the IRA, dragging us into illegal wars and to top it all blame us for the damage wreaked by an american drilling company? Destruction of the banking system?

    I'd prefer they give us the cold shoulder and President Obama is just the guy to do that.

  • Comment number 24.

    Does a "special relationship" still exist?

    Of course it does and long may it continue. Although I am not so sure it is a “special” relationship, as I somewhat believe that this was some form of marketing ploy to make our involvement in the war seem more acceptable. I do agree that perhaps on an individual, cultural and social basis we do have a special relationship with the USA.

    What impact will the BP oil spill and the Lockerbie bomber's release have on UK-US relations?

    As many have said before (and this is something I want to see Obama apologise for), Whilst BP is British Petroleum, the vast majority of those involved in this oil spill incident are actually American. The contractors, subsidiary companies, workers - pretty much all American. Look to your own back yard on this one Obama.

    As for the Lockerbie Bomber. He should never have been released, but as we all know this was about deals under the table and the Scots thumbing their nose at the English. There is nothing Cameron can do, other than sympathise with the families of those who were murdered.

    Does the relationship still serve the national interest?

    Of course it does. Despite the rampant anti-Americanism (the new acceptable face of racism it would seem), America is a fantastic country and its people are genuine and honest - more so than a great many other nationalities I care to mention. I have a great many American friends, I have been there many, many times and I think it is a wonderful country with plenty to offer. Overall I hold more trust in the Americans than I ever would pretty much any other country.

  • Comment number 25.

    just shows whats wrong with our government if they preferred GW Bush to Obama! And, its funny that under Bush we got less cooperation and were left out on the rebuilding contracts, but nobody see thats. I still have a problem that under Bush many war crimes had been committed but seems to have been forgotten because they have a new president? still the same country that committed them? why do they get a clean slate? and why is it the UK seems to put the wool over everyones eyes?

  • Comment number 26.

    We should not kid ourselves. The "special relationship" is a myth. The USA only talks about it when it wants to do something that might be resisted here. From the financial skullduggery of the Breton Woods 'agreements' to the takeover of Diego Garcia and the naked invasion of Grenada, it is always the hegonistic neocon foreign policy of the USA that determines its relationship with the UK. Even the much-lauded Lease-Lend agreements of WW2 were crafted deliberately to weaken British influence after the war.
    Instead we should cultivate our European relations. We should become full members of the EU and abandon NATO in favour of a pan-european strategic military alliance.

  • Comment number 27.

    BP is an international company and Cameron needs to highlight this to Obama and the various US senators who are looking towards mid term elections, he should then tell them that the subject is now closed as far as the UK government is concerned. He might also remind them of the numbers of UK troops who have died fighting US wars including those that have died due to the incompetence of friendly fire. I am certain that the majority of the UK electorate would find this a refreshing alternative to Bliars toadyism to Bush.

  • Comment number 28.

    As someone said. Over the long term we are too interconnected by language, culture, family, history and business to ever not have a cordial relationship.

    In the short term, for whatever reason, Obama just doesn't like us. It's sad when personal feelings dictate one politics, and smacks of unprofessionalism. But hey, there it is.

  • Comment number 29.

    • 6. At 09:46am on 20 Jul 2010, in_the_uk wrote:
    I think the special relationship will resume after obama has left. The US and UK stand together when the rest of the world debates bananas or cant be bothered.
    ///

    You copy and pasted your own post from last time this topic came up.

  • Comment number 30.

    Well, I hope it'll mean that the mythical 'special relationship' is laid to rest once and for all.

    There is NO special relationship, we just do as we're told by the States, so let's stop pretending and start doing what's best for us rather than what's best for the US.

  • Comment number 31.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 32.

    As a Brit with American relatives the "special relationship" that is claimed by THE MEDIA only does not exist never has.

    The American government will do what it believes to be in their best interest regardless of consequences to the rest of the world as they always have.

    The British government will continue to do the same.
    Dont believe the hype
    We didnt go to war in iraq because of a special relationship and it is certainly wasnt because of weapons of mass destruction, For the real reason why we invaded iraq it might be more prudent to look at which oil companies are paying which retired politicians.

  • Comment number 33.

    Long term the relationship is good. Short term not so good, but this US administration won't last another term due to their incompetence
    ------------
    Well they will have that in common too then!

  • Comment number 34.

    //13. At 09:59am on 20 Jul 2010, markmyword1949 wrote:
    "Special relationship" - doesn't exist, never has. From Wilson onwards the US Presidents have seen the UK as little more than a useful tool in their political, economic and military pursuits. The US expects the UK to follow wherever it leads.

    Cameron will be no different than previous PM's. In fact he is already showing his true colours by agreeing to see those four politicians instead of telling them to shove off. Obama has made it plain that the UK is a long way down the pecking order when it comes to his priorities.

    Instead of clinging to the US coat tails we should be forging links with China and India and getting far more involved with the EU.//

    Well said.

    I'm pro-Europe, though anti-EU. If the UK is to have a special relationship with anyone it should be

    - France and Germany, Benelux and the Nordic countries (near and important neighbours)
    - Australia and NZ (they're 'like us' and in the Pacific/Asia zone)
    - Canada (relatively close, and 'like us' apart from their failure to grasp the fact that cricket and rugby are better than American games)
    - India and China.

    That's a fairly long list, but they're all countries we should regard as being equally as important as the US.

  • Comment number 35.

    I don't like either man.
    All style and no substance

  • Comment number 36.

    It's all 'Punch & Judy' but behind the scenes UK/US politicians are all part of the same 'club', so to speak, and adhere to the same worldwide 'agenda' that is gathering pace.

    Don't be fooled.

  • Comment number 37.

    15. At 10:02am on 20 Jul 2010, Togodubnus wrote:

    We don't though we stand in the US's shadow and most of the world doesn't even notice us.

    thats why we need more political distance.

    Where was the US support during the UK's recent spat with Argentina?

    Why does the president of the US keep calling BP British Petroleum?

    Why do we have an extradition treaty with the US which pretty much means that they can claim anyone they want on UK soil but they don't have to give us jack?

    Culturally we share and will hopefully always share a lot of common ground with our US cousins.

    Politically we're better off on our own than in the completely one-sided political relationship we have now.

    -------------------------

    You seem to be relating unrelated issues and then forming a conclusion on that.

    Obama is a blip. He has shown he doesnt really care for the UK and is trying to save his skin by starting troubles with the UK. That is his problem. Before him we had a great relationship with the US.

    We are much less noticed in the world but then that has only happened in the last 13 years. Backing down to the french probably put the final nail in for labour on a world stage. Too spineless. But thats labours fault.

    With the US we know where we stand- we are business partners with a strong history. Obama may do some damage but once he is gone we will probably see that again.

    Without the US we could go alone but spineless labour spent our money and put a cowards face on the UK. We could look to the EU. The dead donkey which is unorganised, unco-ordinated and incompetent. At best.

    I dont believe in giving ourselves over to any other country or collection so dealing with all and subject to none is a good policy. Yet me must accept that our best allies in this whole world has always been the US

  • Comment number 38.

    The accusations that BP had something to do with the Lockerbie bomber being released says it all really - silly that they ever comsider them linked really.

    The USA is a paranoid country who realise they have upset just about every country in the World and would risk their 'good' relations with the UK too.

    The USA have never coped alone and need to be very careful.

  • Comment number 39.

    Watch your back David, i wouldnt trust Obama or any of his regime. Changed my mind big time about that lot,And Obama is never in a million years a Statesman.And he deffinatley hates the British.

  • Comment number 40.

    What is the future for UK-US relations?
    As in the past, we will continue to bend down and kiss the nether regions of the American Administration.
    The "special relationship" is only one way and always has been.
    We have been used and abused as and when the US Govcernment thinks fit.

  • Comment number 41.

    Hopefully a big freeze as the relationship is very detrimental to us in the UK.

  • Comment number 42.

    Britain is no longer the world power of the Victorian days and must start believing that they are a European country after all and their future is in Europe. The USA is about to lose their economic and military world dominance and if the UK does not want to be European then it should side with China to influence Europe and leave the EU. A special relationship where the USA has been using the UK and not the other way around can’t last forever.

  • Comment number 43.

    24. At 10:20am on 20 Jul 2010, Phillip of England wrote:

    Does a "special relationship" still exist?

    Of course it does and long may it continue. Although I am not so sure it is a “special” relationship, as I somewhat believe that this was some form of marketing ploy to make our involvement in the war seem more acceptable. I do agree that perhaps on an individual, cultural and social basis we do have a special relationship with the USA.

    What impact will the BP oil spill and the Lockerbie bomber's release have on UK-US relations?

    As many have said before (and this is something I want to see Obama apologise for), Whilst BP is British Petroleum, the vast majority of those involved in this oil spill incident are actually American. The contractors, subsidiary companies, workers - pretty much all American. Look to your own back yard on this one Obama.

    As for the Lockerbie Bomber. He should never have been released, but as we all know this was about deals under the table and the Scots thumbing their nose at the English. There is nothing Cameron can do, other than sympathise with the families of those who were murdered.

    Does the relationship still serve the national interest?

    Of course it does. Despite the rampant anti-Americanism (the new acceptable face of racism it would seem), America is a fantastic country and its people are genuine and honest - more so than a great many other nationalities I care to mention. I have a great many American friends, I have been there many, many times and I think it is a wonderful country with plenty to offer. Overall I hold more trust in the Americans than I ever would pretty much any other country.

    -_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_

    Hehe, as you have been to the US many time you must be aware of how fake everything is. That smile, friendly service and "have a nice day" that you get in a "diner" etc is an attempt to get a good tip, it is not genuine. You just need to look at Hollywood to see how "genuine" and "trustworthy" people in the US are.

  • Comment number 44.

    It is obvious the US - UK relationship is changing. Obama has been quite blatant in not hiding his contempt for anything British and has been quite willing to throw his erstwhile ally to wolves for his own political purposes. I do not think this is a bad thing for britain as the US is certainly NOT a totally reliable ally to anyone and this may make our own politicians a little more thoughtful before considering backing the US on everything.
    Quite simply things are changing and Britain becoming more independant of US influenece will not be a bad thing for Britain PROVIDING our politicians realise we haven't bee a world superpower since the second world war and they treat other countries as equals. I believe we can have more influence internationally and our economy benefit if we can show we are not a US 'yes' man.

  • Comment number 45.

    There's either some moderators or, the BBC in general that doesn't like the truth, otherwise my truthful comments on this site would be passed and not continually be rejected. The so called special relationship between Britain and America has always been one-sided. It's been that way since the second world war when they 'helped us out'. Like anything America does there's always more in it for them than the countries they help, there's always a price to pay. We as a nation should model ourselves on Switzerland, they are an island whereas we are surrounded by water, they are surrounded by landmass. We have all the expertise to be self sufficient, all we need is the self determination at all levels, to exist as a nation that can take care of itself. We don't need any other nation cohersing us and destroying our industries by unfair practices (bribing). Time to release the shackles, lets be a friend to America, let's see if they will want to be our friend if there's no financial gain in it for them. We are more than capable of fending for ourselves, but the government must take the measures necessary to stop wasting our resources, such as handing out money to undeserving causes. At this point in time we need a male version of Margaret Thatcher, someone with the vision to take Britain ahead and not allow us to be used by so-called friends. That person has to listen to what the British people want, not ponce about trying to be nice, nice on the world stage is weak.

  • Comment number 46.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 47.

    18. At 10:12am on 20 Jul 2010, thelevellers wrote:
    I hope they will talk about Gary McKinnon, but I do not hold much hope in our "great leader".

    I suspect like all tories he will be more interested in being america's yes man.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I sincerely hope you are eluding to the fact that the British should apologise for the constant stalling in this mans extradition to the US.

    He broke the law and rightly should be extradited to face the consequences of his actions.

    I fail to see how this can be seen in any other way.

  • Comment number 48.

    I think David Cameron will be rather cooler and more level-headed about our relationship with the US, and its President, than the star-struck sycophantic Tony Blair, and the bumblegruffian Gordon Brown.

    (My Dict. "bumblegruffian" - a large, grumpy, dishevelled, clumsy, ill-mannered and misanthropic oaf)

  • Comment number 49.

    I see no real reason why our sometimes fractious relationship should dramatically change.

    The nature of internal American politics is such that issues, like the allegations against BP will be raised for domestic gains, by itinerant politicians. It is in their nature.

    Obviously, we need to re-examine the commitments to armed intervention, in support of American initiatives, since we do seem to be getting too involved where discretion might be the better policy.

    American anger over the Lockerbie Affair is hardly unexpected. However, what is done is done. It is a Scots issue and maybe the Scots should step up to the mark and answer the accusations.

  • Comment number 50.

    Whilst I generally like Americans and get on with them at work quite well, it is high time our government stopped being the spineless gutless poodle lapdog of the American administration and told them to lay off the 800 lb gorilla bullyboy tactics over the BP oil well leak and the Lockerbie bomber. It has become a trademark of the current US administration to bang on the revolutionatry drum when they are low in the polls and need to get public approval, how easy it is to blame the "dammed British", which given Obamas family background makes me wonder as to the whether it is for political publicity or for slavery retribution.

    The US coastguard senior officer shot his mouth off over a sea floor leak which has since turned out to be not related to the BP leak. Has he eaten humble pie and apologised - not that has been reported here in the UK. Is the hidden agends that he is aiming for public office when he retires from the coastguard? The Lockerbie bomber was released based on the medical assessment at the time, which with the benefit of 100% hindsight may have been the wrong decision - the same as was the shooting off your mouth about the sea floor leaks near the BP well.

  • Comment number 51.

    What special relationship. We are the lap dog for the American government. We ought to a friend but not tripping ourselves over them. We have more in common with Europe than the USA. They keep on kicking us and our companies like BP, blaming them for everthing, I think the USA government has an alternative motive re BP they want to buy it for themselves. Yes what has happen to the Gulf is very sad and BP will have to sort it out but the anti British and anti BP talk just proves what they think of us.The are quick to forget BHOPAL I don't see the USA government jumping up and down to help the Thousands that are still effected by the US company that caused the problem.I don't expect Cameron to stand up for Britain or BP why worry, another British company that will be sold to the US. Special relationship forget it.

  • Comment number 52.

    If there is a special relationship between the UK and the US, it is as special as a relationship between a dog and its owner. The prime-minister is even showing up for some lowly senators; what use are ambassadors then.

    Additionally UK keeps forgetting that it is inside Europe which happen to be their biggest export market (by far). Europe is more important for the UK than some ex-colony.

  • Comment number 53.

    Let’s hope UK & US will discuss what will be good in the best interest of both nations. Forget this special relationship. It is used by politicians for their own proposes but give both Obama & Cameroon a chance then we can criticize the outcome of their meeting. It is sad to see what people write about Obama as well as Cameroon. Both are elected President and PM by their own people. They didn’t just become leaders or just walked in to No10 or White House. Some have already decided about the time of Obama’s presidency, some think first language in US is Spanish, what’s wrong with people? Can we think postive for a change and hope something good comes out of the meeting?

  • Comment number 54.

    . At 10:20am on 20 Jul 2010, Phillip of England wrote:
    Does a "special relationship" still exist?

    Of course it does and long may it continue. Although I am not so sure it is a “special” relationship, as I somewhat believe that this was some form of marketing ploy to make our involvement in the war seem more acceptable. I do agree that perhaps on an individual, cultural and social basis we do have a special relationship with the USA.

    What impact will the BP oil spill and the Lockerbie bomber's release have on UK-US relations?

    As many have said before (and this is something I want to see Obama apologise for), Whilst BP is British Petroleum, the vast majority of those involved in this oil spill incident are actually American. The contractors, subsidiary companies, workers - pretty much all American. Look to your own back yard on this one Obama.

    "As for the Lockerbie Bomber. He should never have been released, but as we all know this was about deals under the table and the Scots thumbing their nose at the English. There is nothing Cameron can do, other than sympathise with the families of those who were murdered."



    ----------------------------------------------------------


    Actually he was released on compassionate grounds according to Scottish law if you'd bothered to read it. Also this release had the support of most of the Scottish victims' parents if you'd bothered to read that too. But just go on ranting anyway Philip, it's what you do best

  • Comment number 55.

    It's about time relations between Ourselves and the usa cooled down and am sick of this 'pally' attitude with our so called cousins 'over the pond' - as far as I'm concerned they aren't far enough away. The way BP have been treated over there was a disgrace and all because of their greed for Oil. As far as I am concerned the only reason we got dragged into recent and ongoing conflicts was because of their total greed for Oil. Mr.Cameron should stand firm and if he doesn't like anything the president says, he should just tell him to shove it up his hoop !

  • Comment number 56.

    Whilst I welcome the 'special relationship' we have with the US....(there are not many countries like us that will get into deprived or oppressed areas of the world)....I do not like the current trend of BP bashing. Obama should be thankful that the Gulf oil leak was created by BP and not some jumped up 3rd world or less scrupulous oil company who quite simply would not have the know how OR the inclination to invest so much time, effort and money into resolving what has been a technological nightmare. (No doubt every oil company under the sun has learnt so much from BP's approach to resolving this problem) The current chasing BP over the Lockerbie affair also smacks of hitting someone whilst they are down.
    I hope Campbell is quite assertive over there....telling them 'back off'......
    In future the US should be a little more guarded...and less greedy...... in searching out oil at such great depths.

  • Comment number 57.

    The relationship will be only be seen as special by the US so long as the UK shows unquestioning loyalty. We shouldn't be in any doubt this is a very one sided relationship the US is only interested in looking after its own interests not ours.

    Economically and politically Britain should concentrate more on its relationships with the rest of Europe as well as the emerging economies.

  • Comment number 58.

    special relationship is a euphemism for when an amoral predator makes a booty call on some emotionally damaged idiot who just wants to be loved. So yes, I think it's business as usual.

  • Comment number 59.

    The libyan thing is just an example of the US throwing its toys out of its pram just because we didn't do what they wanted. We aren't the 51st state but a sovereign country. Hopefully Dave will tell them so.

  • Comment number 60.

    The special relationship with the US has probably NEVER existed but even if it did, it certainly no longer does. This is highlighted by Obama's behaviour over the gulf oil spill; this was hostile and clearly designed to make politcal capital out of what was an "industrial accident" - I don't see the same criteria applied to the Bhopal incident and Union Carbide.

    I also noted the change in his tone on the 16th July AFTER BP had succesfully capped the leaking well-head. There was extensive use of the word "we": WE have capped the well WE have the solution in hand and yet six weeks ago he couldn't put enough distance between himself and the problem.

    There is no reason for us not to enjoy cordial relations with the US but UK politicians (of all parties) PLEASE NOTE, no more "special relationship" - it's a fallacy and is embarrassing.

  • Comment number 61.

    What is the future for UK-US relations?

    We're nothing! Our politicians are feckless idiots and corrupt, our kids are a bunch crybabies who wannabe gangster rappers and our 'impartial' BBC is nothing but a brown-nose!

    Our future with the US?...HA!

  • Comment number 62.

    37. At 10:53am on 20 Jul 2010, in_the_uk wrote:
    15. At 10:02am on 20 Jul 2010, Togodubnus wrote:

    We don't though we stand in the US's shadow and most of the world doesn't even notice us.

    thats why we need more political distance.

    Where was the US support during the UK's recent spat with Argentina?

    Why does the president of the US keep calling BP British Petroleum?

    Why do we have an extradition treaty with the US which pretty much means that they can claim anyone they want on UK soil but they don't have to give us jack?

    Culturally we share and will hopefully always share a lot of common ground with our US cousins.

    Politically we're better off on our own than in the completely one-sided political relationship we have now.

    -------------------------

    You seem to be relating unrelated issues and then forming a conclusion on that.

    Obama is a blip. He has shown he doesnt really care for the UK and is trying to save his skin by starting troubles with the UK.

    ---

    The Bush/Blair relationship was the pretty much the last straw for the political relationship, thats when the one-way extradition treaty was agreed, which is nothing short of a humiliation of the UK.

    Obama's not been as diplomatic as he could have beeen, but his' brit-bashing', and the term is misleading, has been aimed at BP - its other politicians and US media companies that have been extending that criticism to Britain in general.

    I've been more offended by Obama's utter silence on the Falklands issues.

    You say that before Obama the UK had a very healthy realtionship with he US.

    I'd be amazed if anything other than a tiny minority of Brits regard the Bush/Blair relationship as 'healthy'.

    Servile and embarassing would be more accurate.

  • Comment number 63.

    Seems to be a bit of a failure to understand that Scotland isn't England and that just because a primarily American company once had British in it's name, this doesn't make it foreign, even if you want it to be!

    I noticed that Mr Obama was also labouring under the stereotypical assumption that all beer in Britain is served warm!

    Perhaps it comes from getting your knowledge of international affairs from watching the Simpsons.
    We will know if he asks Dave man of the People Cameron where his jet pack is?

    Dohhhhhhh!!!!!!

  • Comment number 64.

    What is the future?
    Same as the past.
    British PM will have been carefully vetted by the US before he becomes party leader. He will then obey whatever Washington requires of him.
    It is called the special relationship.

  • Comment number 65.

    29. At 10:26am on 20 Jul 2010, Reverend Norton Neat wrote:

    • 6. At 09:46am on 20 Jul 2010, in_the_uk wrote:
    I think the special relationship will resume after obama has left. The US and UK stand together when the rest of the world debates bananas or cant be bothered.
    ///

    You copy and pasted your own post from last time this topic came up.

    -------------------------

    I assume to do that I must troll through many archives (no thanks) for the right topic, then find the right post (you kidding!), just to copy and paste 3 lines here? Since you jump to this conclusion I can only assume you do this and have far too much time on your hands.

    As for my post it was an honest opinion typed out. Sorry to disappoint you

  • Comment number 66.

    47. At 11:14am on 20 Jul 2010, Phillip of England wrote:
    18. At 10:12am on 20 Jul 2010, thelevellers wrote:
    I hope they will talk about Gary McKinnon, but I do not hold much hope in our "great leader".

    I suspect like all tories he will be more interested in being america's yes man.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I sincerely hope you are eluding to the fact that the British should apologise for the constant stalling in this mans extradition to the US.

    He broke the law and rightly should be extradited to face the consequences of his actions.

    I fail to see how this can be seen in any other way.

    ----

    well human campassion & empathy for a disabled man aside, if it had been an American hacker getting into the MI6 computers, the US would be under absolutely no obligation to extradite him to Britain.

    Same as the Blair agreement means that US service men cannot be subpoenaed to appear in British military inquests - even when they may be directly responsible for a friendly fire incident.

    British troops are under no such proection.

  • Comment number 67.

    Only the UK believes there is a 'special' relationship. It is entirely one sided. The US can extradite anyone they want, they can even kidnap UK citizens. Until reciprocity is even there is no relationship, we are just poodles.

  • Comment number 68.

    I am not anti American like many at the BBC and the rest of the leftie brigade, but I am a little peed about this BP business, and I think someone needs to tell Obama were to go, BP is mainly American owned, and lets face it the yanks have been at the centre of many instances like this, would they have agreed to set aside billions of $'s for compensation if this was an American company that caused this damage on foreign soil, I think not

    I do think that Obama is trying to deflect a lot of flack that he is getting back in the states as his popularity is flagging badly back home and what better way than to blame everyone else

  • Comment number 69.

    43. At 11:02am on 20 Jul 2010, Tony wrote:

    Hehe, as you have been to the US many time you must be aware of how fake everything is. That smile, friendly service and "have a nice day" that you get in a "diner" etc is an attempt to get a good tip, it is not genuine. You just need to look at Hollywood to see how "genuine" and "trustworthy" people in the US are.

    --------------------------

    I assume you look to liverpool or london to see how friendly people are too. You know all the shootings and stuff.

    I went to florida and I can tell you the people there are no different to here. Some are happy, some aint.

  • Comment number 70.

    The whole thing is a joke !! no one likes one another its a poiltical sham ; beware of wolves in sheeps clothing ; good motto very true here

  • Comment number 71.

    The strange thing is that as America and the UK drift apart politically we become more similar culturally. Even British people who claim not to like America – imitate Americans in almost every aspect of their life.

    The way we dress, eat, speak and entertain ourselves are all dictated by America. Everyone owns a pair of jeans and everyone tries to talk like an American - “you guys”, “dude”, “can I get” , “cool”. And that just the middle aged – fashionable youngsters adopt the style and language of America’s inner city ghettos – track suites, baseball hats and “yo hommie” , “hanging with my dawgs” etc.

    Personally I would prefer it if we maintained our special diplomatic relationship but retained separate cultural identities - and we can start by abandoning the use of American slang.

  • Comment number 72.

    There is no "Special Relationship" between the US and the UK - in WW! the Americans were late, in WWII they were again late, in Iraq they forgot to seal the borders and the terrorists and suicide bombers flooded in from all the surrounding dis-affected countries to targhet our soldiers keeping the peace. On US-UK commercial matters where is the reporting of the involvement of America companies in the BP seafloor leak? Where are the critical comments on Transocean (who owned and operated the rig that blew up and sank, killing 11 workers) and Haliburton (who I believe supplied the blowout preventer that failed to prevent the blowout)? Where are the critical comments on the US banks who sold the rest of the world a pig in a poke with their sub-prime banking deals that cost the UK thousands of jobs and £197 billion in bailout? Very obviously lacking on your competitor Chicken Noodle News.

    If Cameron ends up promising British taxpayer money as compensation for the dirt poor (?) Americans on the Gulf Coast, his credibility will be completely shot, nothing more than a toothless poodle, he needs to show some guts, bare some teeth and go on the offensive, tell the American media they need to move on from 1776 and stop blaming everyone else (the Arab oil producers, the muslims, the dammed British, the illegal Mexicans, the Japanese, the Chinese, etc) for their own problems caused by living high on borrowed money - we did that under the mismanagement of NuLabour and look where it got us, hundreds of billions more in debt.

  • Comment number 73.

    As much as I like America and its people I think the relationship should be put on a more even keel. We have been the U.S's staunchist ally but political show boating during American election time has been very damaging. The assault on BP is over the top and in light of Bophal and Piper Alpha very hypocritical. If Mr Obama has a poor rating he should try the tough talk with his enemies not his allies.
    As for the Lockerbie fiasco I believe Scottish Ministers have some questions to answer they strive for independance and responsibility let them take some !!

  • Comment number 74.

    The same one it has always been, as pet poodle

  • Comment number 75.

    uk and us relations. oh dear so difficult. in my opinion the us are looking for world domination eventually. when they have finished in the middle east i wonder if their attention will turn toward europe. if it does then we will be their stepping stone. they already have bases here and woe betide the uk if we say no to their actions. they will turn on us and tread us into the ground. that as far as i can see is the relationship we have with the us.

  • Comment number 76.

    The decision to release Al-Megrahi was wrong. However the Americans have no right to dictate what another country's judicial processes are and the decisions their laws allow or disallow. The British Government cannot demand re-embursement of all funds that Goldman-Sachs "stole", or that their directors be imprisoned for life, that is the decision for the US Judicial system. So until the US are officially the elected government of Britain, please stay out of our judicial system, we will make mistakes, just like them, and we will have to live with them.

  • Comment number 77.

    Watching a Us Senator on the news calling for a inquiry into the dealings of BP in relation to the Lockerbie bombers release, as well as a American lady calling for justice 2 things stuck me.

    1) the US government seems to be out for BP's blood and will do anything it can to get it.

    2) How selective a memory the Americans have when it comes to justice, they convieniently forget the millions raised by Irish Americans for the IRA, money which killed innocent Britich civilians as well as British soldiers alike.

    So like i suspect many British citizens who can remember the troubles in N Ireland and who like myself lost freind's they will get little sympathy from me.

  • Comment number 78.

    "Special Relationship"????

    America says "jump"..we say "how high"

  • Comment number 79.

    As a citizen in Lockerbie for 20 years and someone effected by the disaster more than most - i can say with complete confidence Mcaskill did the right thing when he released Megrahi. He is dying + he would have won his appeal...

    David Cameron is annoying me, first he denies the senators a meeting - a move I respected, it wasn't David Cameron's decision and he had nothing to do with the release. Secondly it was a statement, now he has conceeded his position and once again the Americans gain an upper hand over the Brits - they really don't deserve it.

    If the American Media reported the news correctly, the families of the air disaster would know how corrupt the initial trial against Megarahi was and the fact in all likely-hood he didn't play a major part (if any) in the bombing...

  • Comment number 80.

    A special relationship with these people lmao

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJuNgBkloFE

  • Comment number 81.

    As the Empires most obstreperous and spoilt child, I think that Cammers should go over there and give that bunch of yankees a jolly good bunch of fives, kick 'em into line and remind them where they've come from, upstart settlers.

    He can get them to cough up for their congestion charge bill aswell for his old mate Boris, that's the ticket!!

  • Comment number 82.

    11. At 09:51am on 20 Jul 2010, pzero wrote:
    The same as it has always been, the yanks say jump and our PM asks how high!

    No signs of Cameron developing any guts and telling the yanks to mind their own business.

    Of course why the idiot Clinton wants to discuss Megrahi with Cameron is beyond me, doesnt the woman know what devolution means. Someone should tell her it is the slightly chunky scottish bloke she really wants to talk to......
    ------------------------------------------------------------

    The problem with the Megrahi affair is that because the Americans feel that under a Scttish Parliament that has DEVOLVED Powers from Westminster, they [ the Americans ] believe that Cameron has some kind of switch he can pull to reverse any decisions made within the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood.

    This is therefore causing confusion, since what the Americans have got to be made to understand is that anything to do with Scottish Law issues were NEVER at any time DEVOLVED from Westminster since Scottish Law was NEVER defined by Westminster, for if only in issues of Scottish Law it has always been truly INDEPENDENT from Westminster and ENGLISH LAW, and NO British Prime Minister can have any say whatsoever about ANY decisions made by any Scottish Justice Minister.

    The POINT here is NOT what Cameron might say to Obama about this issue, since Cameron or anyone else within the Westminster Government Circus has NO Power to intervene, or make ANY suggestions as to what Scotland should or should not do within matters concerning their own Scottish Legal System.

  • Comment number 83.

    I hope our new Prime minister isn't going to be a cringeworthy poodle like Blair and Brown.

    And I wouldn't trust Obama as far as I could throw him.

  • Comment number 84.

    like all bullies, the US have to show their power every now and then and what do all bullies do, they pick on the least member of the pack to shove around. YES I MEAN BRITAIN. Not only are we seperated from Europe by water but by centuries of culture that will not be erased by signing some papers and passing some laws. America sees us the same way as Europe "The Hanger On", well maybe the Two Ronnies sketch will come true and "the worm will turn" and bite back. Please Please Please Mr Cameron, be the first in a long time to turn round and say very forceably "NO" to both America and Europe. Be an equal partner not a special friend

  • Comment number 85.

    I'm growing sick and tired of the US over Lockerbie. If they'd released all the information regarding the bomb (not giving to the defence for 'national security' reasons) I might believe that Libya actually did it. As it stands there is far more evidence it was a revenge attack by Iran for the USS Vincennes shooting down an Iranian airbus.

    Megrahi was released by the Scottish justice minister not the UK govt. Cameron has no more power of this release than Obama can stop a US State governor issuing a death row pardon.

    Equally why is it David Camerons business if BP lobbied for an oil deal? BP employs 24,000 americans and just 10,000 brits. 40% of its shares are US owned, 34% are UK owned. 6 of its directors are US citizens, 6 are UK. By any measure it is more a US than an UK owned company these days. This is why it hasn't been called 'British Petroleum' for 20 years. Perhaps Cameron can update Obama on this?

    Of course no US multinational would ever act unethically for an oil deal would they? Hahahaha.

    Doubtlessly as none of these facts will please the very vocal anti-British US lobby (who seem to spend a lot of time on British websites....) I'll relax and get ready for the tides of abuse coming my way.

  • Comment number 86.

    The UK doesn't need the Yanks!

    When the US ditches Obama, learns to say sorry, to pay for its own crimes and to own up to its own pollution around the world, then perhaps, just perhaps, we might be friends; until then, let them be.

  • Comment number 87.

    62. At 11:43am on 20 Jul 2010, Togodubnus wrote:

    The Bush/Blair relationship was the pretty much the last straw for the political relationship, thats when the one-way extradition treaty was agreed, which is nothing short of a humiliation of the UK.

    Obama's not been as diplomatic as he could have beeen, but his' brit-bashing', and the term is misleading, has been aimed at BP - its other politicians and US media companies that have been extending that criticism to Britain in general.

    I've been more offended by Obama's utter silence on the Falklands issues.

    You say that before Obama the UK had a very healthy realtionship with he US.

    I'd be amazed if anything other than a tiny minority of Brits regard the Bush/Blair relationship as 'healthy'.

    Servile and embarassing would be more accurate.

    ------------------------

    I dont totally disagree with you but since bush wasnt regarded as the most intelligent it is obviously a short coming of blair and brown who were too spineless to run the country. We all know it. Thatcher may not be the best PM but she didnt surrender to the french, back down on the falklands, allow terrorists to dictate to this country or show no spine to the US. And as a result the US respected us.

    I hope cameron has the spine of thatcher at least. Obama is a spiteful brat but once he leaves I dont see why the US wont help repair his legacy

  • Comment number 88.

    65. At 11:47am on 20 Jul 2010, in_the_uk wrote:
    29. At 10:26am on 20 Jul 2010, Reverend Norton Neat wrote:

    • 6. At 09:46am on 20 Jul 2010, in_the_uk wrote:
    I think the special relationship will resume after obama has left. The US and UK stand together when the rest of the world debates bananas or cant be bothered.
    ///

    You copy and pasted your own post from last time this topic came up.

    -------------------------

    I assume to do that I must troll through many archives (no thanks) for the right topic, then find the right post (you kidding!), just to copy and paste 3 lines here? Since you jump to this conclusion I can only assume you do this and have far too much time on your hands.

    As for my post it was an honest opinion typed out. Sorry to disappoint you

    ///

    Nah, I remember that "debates bananas" comment all too well.

  • Comment number 89.

    Some more pollution!

    Haven't these people heard of conference calls? I make them every day.

  • Comment number 90.

    43. At 11:02am on 20 Jul 2010, Tony wrote:
    24. At 10:20am on 20 Jul 2010, Phillip of England wrote:

    Hehe, as you have been to the US many time you must be aware of how fake everything is. That smile, friendly service and "have a nice day" that you get in a "diner" etc is an attempt to get a good tip, it is not genuine. You just need to look at Hollywood to see how "genuine" and "trustworthy" people in the US are.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I concede that there is some fakery and indeed the Hollywood set are renouned for it. However, I have been all over the US and found the genuine pleasentness of the people to be quite sincere.

    And just exactly is wrong with a little fakery with your "Have a nice day"?

    Compare that to the appalling service you get here in the UK by some crude, deshevelled, impolite, downright rude people working in the service industry here. I'll take fake politeness anytime. I'm not paying for a meal in a restaurant to be on the recieving end of someone's bad mood.

    Perhaps if you head of the beaten trail the next time you head to the US you might understand what I mean.

  • Comment number 91.

    The Special relationship has never existed in my 40 years on this planet.

    Cameron needs to tell the Senate that no-one from the UK government will EVER testify in front of the US senators about the Prisoner Transfer Agreement with Libya, much like the US sticking 2 fingers up at our inquiries into so-called 'friendly fire' incidents, where the US soldiers/pilots etc are not allowed to come here to testify and help the families find out the truth.

    And don't get me started about the extradition treaty with the US, we should tear it up, until they reciprocate with theirs. Then again, they might have to extradite some Ex-IRA terrorists and that wouldn't go down well with their Irish-American voters.

    By the way, how many generations of being American does it take to stop caling yourself Irish-American?

  • Comment number 92.

    We have a pro-islamist communist in the White House and an unprincipled opportunist in Downing Street so relations should go very well indeed.

  • Comment number 93.

    Maybe if we scale down the relationship, BBC News will stop banging on about the US.

    The relationship is pretty much one-way these days. Much of our major news isn't even noticed there. With the exception of Iraq we may as well not exist to our so-called close allies.

    EU all the way.

  • Comment number 94.

    Some interesting comments here, mixed with the usual John Bull type stuff.

    Let's not forget the US dug us and the rest of Europe out of two deep, dark holes in the first half of the 20th century. They were under no compulsion to do so as Europe is a long way from their shores, but got involved out of enlightened self interest, for want of a better phrase. This, along with the post-war reconstruction of Europe and Japan, are possibly America's greatest achievements - and maybe the first time in history a great power didn't humiliate a rival defeated in combat.

    However, having said that, the US has lost its moral compass and sense of purpose in the last few decades and its view is being distracted eastwards by its rivalry with China, so maybe it's time to strengthen our ties with Europe in the knowledge that the US will have other things on its mind in the next few decades.

    On the Lockerbie thing, there is nothing but gross hypocrisy being displayed by Clinton in particular along with the rest. Megrahi was released to avoid a public inquiry into his conviction that would have laid bare the truth of the matter - that he is innocent and Iran / Syria were responsible for the deed.

    I just hope the Scottish Government holds their own inquiry into this and makes participation in it a precondition of any cooperation with the UK or US government on the issue. At least the 6000-page leave to appeal compiled by Megrahi's lawyers should be made public - just to make clear that they released a man who was wrongly convicted in the first place.

  • Comment number 95.

    I obviously do not know what the future holds for Anglo/American relations will be. However I hope they become more distant, polite, but not the present obsequious nature we hold now. We owe the U.S NOTHING. The present administration, lead by Mr Obama, must be the most anti-British US Government for a long time. That's fine in its' way. If Mr Obama dislikes Britain that is his problem, but in doing so he must be made to realise that Britain, in return, cannot in the future follow Americas lead blindly. Mr Obama must be told quietly that we understand his hate of Britain, (he has memories of Kenya apparently), but we will have to review our so called 'special relationship' with him. He obviously holds just about any other Country above Britain. OK then, let him find his allies in war from them and Britain should step backwards. We have been too puppy dog like for too long. We now have a new administration in power. Ideal time to let America know how we feel. I am NOT anti-American, but I think Mr Obama's anti-British stance has to be strongly challenged.

  • Comment number 96.

    I have a feeling that some people desperately need the so-called special relationship to somehow make up for what they perceive as the demise of Great Britain, while they fail to realise that what we’re going through at the moment is a transition period, from which we will emerge as a different nation that has nothing to do with the past but only looks forward to a future with far less involvement with the US. They look at some of us like a grown up man looks at a playful and needy puppy that craves attention, and they don’t understand why the puppy won’t grow up.

  • Comment number 97.

    Is it fact of just hearsay that Obama doesn't like the Brits. Well lets just look back at history. In the early half of the 20th century someone took a dislike to some people and that dislike ended in disaster for millions. I am talking about Adolf Hitler.

  • Comment number 98.

    66. At 11:48am on 20 Jul 2010, Togodubnus wrote:
    47. At 11:14am on 20 Jul 2010, Phillip of England wrote:
    18. At 10:12am on 20 Jul 2010, thelevellers wrote:

    well human campassion & empathy for a disabled man aside, if it had been an American hacker getting into the MI6 computers, the US would be under absolutely no obligation to extradite him to Britain.

    Same as the Blair agreement means that US service men cannot be subpoenaed to appear in British military inquests - even when they may be directly responsible for a friendly fire incident.

    British troops are under no such proection.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    You're not really making a point here to be honest. Any agreement (or lack there of) to have American's appear in court is irrelavent to this issue.

    Gary McKinnon broke the law and the law requires that he be extradited to face the music for what he has done. Any talk or hyperthetical reversals of this situation are neither here nor there.

    The UK has played a pretty awful stalling game, playing on everything from this chaps disabilities to the non-recipricol agreements between the US and the UK covering extradition.

    Is the same game now being played out with that Abu Hamza fellow. The only people benefitting from this situation are the lawyers who are raking in a fortune and the criminals themselves.

    There is no excuse, he needs to be extradited. HE BROKE THE LAW!!!

  • Comment number 99.

    There is no future with Obama, and rightly so. Obama is a statist and an ideologue. In his ideology free countries like the UK are the enemy. He hates Britain, and his absent father hated Britain and told his son to think likewise. In is book 'Dreams' he gives some insight into daddy's perspective on "colonial" Kenya and the blame for everything under the sun ascribed (as one would expect) to someone else. Coincidentally, Obama himself has been an assiduous student of pointing the finger!

    The return of the bust of Sir Winston Churchill from the White House is a reflection of his disregard for Britain and its people. Cameron would do well to keep his distance and a stance of cool indifference might be his best approach. Obama will be gone soon and the political alliance can once again be forged.

    However I hope that individual Americans and Brits continue their own relationships outside this political sphere. They have so much in common in a world that is increasingly desperate.

  • Comment number 100.

    David Cameron's remarks simply show that he is sufficiently politically savvy to realise that Blair and Brown's attempts to bask in the "special relationship" eventually became a negative factor for them, with the UK electorate. Cleverly, he has adopted a more neutral position.

    This costs him nothing in his dealings with the US, because in the international arena all countries ruthlessly pursue their national interests. Foreigners do not have votes, so why should one bother about them.

    In private I am sure that professional diplomats regard the special relationship as a joke, and are rather amused to see politicians trying to exploit the naivety of many of their electors by means of such notions.

 

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