With the United Kingdom’s historic decision to leave the European Union, the country has regained its independence from a multinational bureaucracy and given the opportunity to make important decisions on its own. However, like most countries, the United Kingdom cannot stand alone on the global stage and needs an important partner. That is the United States of America.
The close ties between the United States and the United Kingdom have been termed the “Special Relationship” by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. Even though the United States declared independence from the Crown in 1776 and the War of 1812 led to a military conflict between the two nations, the United Kingdom has become perhaps the most important military partner of the United States. From both World Wars to the fight against terror and the annihilation of ISIS, the two countries have worked together by participating in joint military operations, sharing military bases and intelligence secrets. Furthermore, the United Kingdom is one of the few NATO members that contributes more than the 2% threshold of its military budget to the organization.
The United Kingdom and the United States are also important economic partners. With London and New York being important financial centers, foreign direct investment between the two nations is prominent. British companies in the United States employ millions of Americans and vice versa. In addition, with the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Common Market, planned for the end of 2020, the country will be in full control of its trade policy. This has given the opportunity for a strong trade agreement with the US, something which was supported by both President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Speaking of leaders, the relationship between the heads of government of the two nations have mostly been strong. From Churchill and Truman, to Thatcher and Reagan and finally Johnson and Trump, leaders have worked together to achieve common goals and fight common enemies. As for the head of state of the United Kingdom, Queen Elizabeth has helped further enhance this relationship. In a 2019 state banquet between members of the Royal Family, the British Government and President Trump, HM the Queen reminded the audience of a “close and long standing friendship” between the nations and made reference to “strong cultural links of shared heritage” as well as “common values and shared interests.”
Millions of Americans visit London and the rest of the country while American cities are also swamped by British tourists. Americans have listed the UK as the most attractive place to study overseas and vice versa.Young Americans grew up reading Harry Potter while British pubs live stream NFL games. But most importantly, both nations are espoused to the common values of freedom, democracy and personal responsibility.
Of course there have been times where this relationship has been strained. The United Kingdom was critical of the Vietnam War while the Iraq War remained extremely unpopular among the British public, with many blaming the United States for the UK’s involvement in Iraq. In addition, a large chunk of the UK Labour party has expressed anti-American and anti-Israel views, especially former leader Jeremy Corbyn. Even the current Conservative administration continues to maintain diplomatic relations with Iran and was willing to allow Chinese Communist Party controlled Huawei help develop the nation’s 5G network. However, the relationship between the two countries remains very strong. Even if Vice-President Joe Biden wins the 2020 election or the new moderate Labour leader Keir Starmer becomes Prime Minister, things are expected to remain unchanged.
As a country independent from the European Union, its special relationship with the United States has not deteriorated. In fact, it has become even stronger. With a China that has been dishonest with the mismanagement of the COVID-19 pandemic and a Russian Federation that continues to undermine democracy and human rights, the United Kingdom has no better choice than forming an even stronger alliance with the United States.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.