UK, US to sign new ‘Atlantic Charter’ to boost ties, pandemic recovery
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and US President Joe Biden will on Thursday agree a new version of the “Atlantic Charter” aimed at leading the world’s pandemic recovery and bolstering ties.
The agreement comes as the leaders hold their first face-to-face talks on Biden’s first overseas trip of his presidency.
The new pact, modelled on the 1941 accord signed by Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt, aims to emulate the original accord, which shaped the post-war world order by promoting democracy, free trade and opportunity.
The 2021 charter will cover everything from global defence and security to rebuilding from coronavirus and curbing climate change, according to Johnson’s Downing Street office.
In remarks released ahead of the meeting, Johnson said close cooperation between London and Washington “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,” he added.
“Eighty years ago the US President and British Prime Minister stood together promising a better future. Today we do the same.”
Johnson and Biden will sit down Thursday afternoon in Cornwall, southwest England, before leaders of the world’s richest economies gather for a weekend summit.
Biden touched down in Britain late Wednesday ahead of the three-day gathering — the G7’s first in-person meeting since 2019 — beginning Friday in the seaside resort of Carbis Bay.
– ‘Enduring values’ –
The new Atlantic Charter will outline eight areas where the transatlantic allies resolve to work together based around their “enduring values”, Downing Street said.
They include addressing threats posed by cyberattacks, climate change and biodiversity loss, as well as scaling up joint pandemic recovery work such, including genomic sequencing and variant assessments.
The two leaders are also set to agree several new policy priorities to underpin the charter, spanning travel, trade, post-Brexit issues in Northern Ireland and defence.
They are expected to establish a new taskforce which will make recommendations on safely restarting UK-US and other international travel “as soon as possible”.
The taskforce, to be chaired by senior transport officials in both countries, will help them “share thinking and expertise” on international travel, as major airlines on both sides of the Atlantic urge a swift decision on resuming flights.
Meanwhile, Britain’s hopes for a swift UK-US trade deal after last year’s departure from the EU appear dented following Biden replacing Brexit enthusiast Donald Trump in the White House.
Downing Street said the pair will “discuss ways of “further enhancing our economic relationship”, including through a resolution to the civil aircraft dispute.
But it made no mention of any trade agreement.
However, it added they are set to pursue a bilateral technology deal to be signed next year.
The agreement heralds “a new era of strategic cooperation by reducing the barriers British tech firms face when trying to work with their US counterparts” it said.