Boris Johnson got annoyed when Biden mentioned the US's and UK's 'special relationship' because he thinks it makes Britain look needy, report says

Boris Johnson got annoyed when Biden mentioned the US's and UK's 'special relationship' because he thinks it makes Britain look needy, report says
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  • Biden mentioned the US-UK "special relationship" on a call with Johnson, The Atlantic reported.

  • Johnson told Biden he didn't like using the term, an aide to Johnson said.

  • Johnson thinks it makes his country look weak and needy, the report said.

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UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson was upset that President Joe Biden referred to the "special relationship" between the US and the UK, according to a new profile by The Atlantic's Tom McTague.

The in-depth profile, published on Monday, was the result of four months of reporting in which McTague followed Johnson around the UK and interviewed him and his aides.

The profile included an anecdote from one of Johnson's aides about Johnson pushing back on Biden in an early phone call with the US president.

Biden had referred to the "special relationship" between the UK and the US, but Johnson said he didn't like the term, the aide told The Atlantic.

"To Johnson it seemed needy and weak," the report said.

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A spokesman for Johnson told Insider on Monday: "The prime minister is on the record as preferring not to use the phrase but it doesn't in any way detract from the importance with which we view our relationship with the US."

The Atlantic did not specify when the call took place, but Biden spoke with Johnson for the first time as president on January 23. The White House's readout of the call said Biden "conveyed his intention to strengthen the special relationship between our countries."

Biden in Michigan on May 18. Nicholas Kamm/Associated Press

"Special relationship" has been widely attributed to Britain's wartime prime minister Winston Churchill, whom Johnson wrote a book about and is said to idolize.

Both British and American politicians have used the phrase to perpetuate the idea that the US and the UK are equally reliant on each other.

On May 3, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the US had "no closer ally" than the UK and praised the "special relationship."

In an opinion article published on Sunday by The Washington Post, Biden wrote that he would use his visit to the UK for the G7 summit over the weekend "to affirm the special relationship between our nations."

After the summit, Biden and the first lady are due to meet Queen Elizabeth II.

Biden has made it clear that the UK's stance on Northern Ireland is jeopardizing good relations.

In November, Biden said he had told Johnson that he didn't want a hard border between Britain and Northern Ireland after Brexit. "The idea of having the border north and south once again being closed and require - it's just not right," he said. "We've just got to keep the border open."

On Monday, The Times of London reported that Biden would raise the issue again with Johnson during the G7 summit.

Biden also plans to tell Johnson that the prospect of a UK-US trade deal would be damaged if the border scenario remained unsolved, The Times said.

Members of Biden's 2020 campaign told Insider last year that Biden did not view Johnson favorably and that he still remembered the UK prime minister's jabs at President Barack Obama.

Read the original article on Business Insider