LIVE: Biden and Johnson Put Brexit Tensions on Hold in First Meeting | Top News

by 24USATVJune 10, 2021, 10:50 p.m. 19
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(June 10) British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and President Joe Biden heaped praise on each other as the two leaders sought to re-launch the U.K.-U.S. relationship at a time of rising tensions over the fallout from Brexit. “Prime Minister Johnson and I had a very productive meeting,” Biden told reporters after the leaders met at a beach resort ahead of the Group of Seven summit in Cornwall, England, on Thursday. “We affirmed the special relationship.” For his part, Johnson hailed Biden and his team as a “breath of fresh air” and described their conversation as “wonderful.” The body language was warm as they met on an overcast day on the English coast, with Biden first greeting Johnson’s new wife, Carrie, before turning to the premier. “We both married way above our station,” the president told the prime minister later. The pair took pains to emphasize their common ground, despite rising tensions behind the scenes over the fallout from the U.K.’s split from the European Union. In recent days, the Biden administration has been vocal in public and privately with the British government, raising concerns that an escalating trade dispute between the U.K. and the EU could threaten peace in Northern Ireland. But Biden, who famously describes himself as Irish, did not directly push Johnson to fix the argument with Brussels, when they met face-to-face for the first time on Thursday, according to the U.K. side. Asked by reporters if Biden had told Johnson to “crack on” and reach a solution with the EU, the prime minister replied: “No he didn’t.” The Brexit tensions date back years. Biden opposed the U.K.’s European divorce and reportedly characterized Johnson as a clone of Donald Trump. Johnson, meanwhile, is the man who personally led the U.K. referendum campaign to leave the bloc in 2016 and then completed the split at the end of last year. Despite the difficulties over Brexit, there is still a lot the two men agree on, and Johnson has benefited from Biden’s backing for his G-7 initiatives. This month, finance ministers agreed to a landmark reform of global business taxes, to make sure tech giants like Amazon.com Inc. pay more in the countries where they operate, and to set a minimum rate for business levies. The two sides published a new shared vision for their cooperation. The joint statement included renewed commitments to peace in Northern Ireland, alongside promises to work to boost global trade. In a separate statement, the U.K. said the two sides agreed to work toward a free-trade agreement. --- Subscribe to our YouTube channel: https://bit.ly/2TwO8Gm Bloomberg Quicktake brings you live global news and original shows spanning business, technology, politics and culture. Make sense of the stories changing your business and your world. To watch complete coverage on Bloomberg Quicktake 24/7, visit http://www.bloomberg.com/qt/live, or watch on Apple TV, Roku, Samsung Smart TV, Fire TV and Android TV on the Bloomberg app. Connect with us on… YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/Bloomberg Breaking News on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/BloombergQuickTakeNews Twitter: https://twitter.com/quicktake Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/quicktake Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/quicktake

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