Boris Johnson won a first diplomatic victory, with the UK becoming Joe Biden’s first foreign destination since he became President of the United States.
But that’s more thanks to the good timing than the special relationship – a term the PM wouldn’t like anyway because he thinks it looks weak and needy.
As a host of Group of Seven (G7) industrialized country this year, Britain is providing the platform for world powers to come together for the first time in person since COVID-19[female[feminine pandemic has swept the world.
This gives Mr Johnson a great opportunity, before group diplomacy kicks off on Friday, to spend one-on-one time with Mr. Biden and reconnecting the UK with the US after four turbulent and unpredictable years under Donald Trump.
Yet for all the values the two countries share, their deep security ties and their long-standing friendship, it won’t be just friendly smiles and elbows.
Mr. Biden represents a return to a more conventional American leader, unabashedly supporting transatlantic ties, multilateral organizations and the fundamental importance of democratic values.
But he will probably not have the same chemistry with the British Prime Minister as his predecessor.
Mr Johnson, with his blonde hair and reputation for disrupting the status quo – embodied in Brexit – was sometimes dubbed ‘mini Trump’ – a label he will be keen to shake up as he ties his knot together. friendship with the new administration.
This American president, unlike Mr. Trump, is also not a fan of the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union.
He will feel no particular urge to put Britain at the head of any trade deal – a prospect suspended by his predecessor but never sealed.
Then there is the important question of the impact on Northern Ireland of the British Brexit deal.
Mr Biden has made it clear that he will not accept any action from Britain or the EU that would further endanger the already strained Good Friday deal.
Furthermore, what will the US leader think of the UK government’s decision to “temporarily” suspend a pledge to meet the UN target of spending 0.7% of national income on foreign aid at a time when poorest people in the world need help from the richest more than ever?
A £ 4bn cut in overseas aid means the UK is the only G7 country to cut the amount it spends to help developing countries.
That said, the UK and the US have always had their differences.
It is their common goals and values that make this bilateral relationship so vital for both parties and the rest of the world’s democracies.
In a time of a growing authoritarian China and with threats from Russia still acute, Mr Johnson and Mr Biden will ultimately want to stand united, knowing that all democracies are stronger when they work together.