British Ambassador Karen Pierce on the UK’s foreign policy future: NPR


The British Ambassador to the USA Karen Pierce, presented in her previous role in 2018, talked to the NPR about the contours of her future foreign policy.

Spencer Platt / Getty Images

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Spencer Platt / Getty Images

The British Ambassador to the USA Karen Pierce, presented in her previous role in 2018, talked to the NPR about the contours of her future foreign policy.

Spencer Platt / Getty Images

Britain wants to maintain its relationship with the US front and center in the coming years, according to the new foreign policy of the UK government review entitled “Global Britain in a Competitive Age”.

Following the end of Brexit and the UK’s exit from the European Union, the UK now wants to establish a new trade agreement with the US and increase security ties.

“In all our efforts, the United States will be our greatest ally and uniquely close partner in defense, intelligence and security,” said Prime Minister Boris Johnson. said earlier this month.

But the Biden administration does not share that personal companionship seen during the Trump administration – Trump and Johnson were allies over Brexit and the new trade deal, while the Biden administration is threatening new tariffs about certain British exports and wants to renew alliances with Europe.

UK Ambassador to the US Karen Pierce denies that the UK is on shaky feet. “President Biden refers to Britain as the closest ally of the United States. We certainly see that for sure,” she told Ari Shapiro. All things considered.

Here are excerpts from the interview:

Prime Minister Boris Johnson outlined this plan for what he calls a “global Britain”. There is talk of deepening ties with Washington to counter threats from Russia and China. Why shouldn’t the US turn to the European Union first in these efforts, given that the EU is collectively much larger and more powerful than the United Kingdom itself?

I would say that the United States needs both the EU and the UK if we want to adopt a coherent policy to deal with China, which addresses China’s growing international assertiveness and China’s economic approach, but also offers the opportunity to work together on really big global issues like health and climate. . But Britain is powerful. I don’t want anyone to get the impression that we aren’t.

Unlike the EU, we are a global player in security. We are a leading member of NATO. So, I would say that this is something we on both sides of the Atlantic need to talk about together.

One of the key parts of this global British strategy is working with the US on opposing Russia, especially on cyber security. Russian hackers have already penetrated deep into US government and corporate systems, and have hit other countries as well. So far, the US and the UK have not forced Moscow to pay any significant price for it, as far as we can see. What do you expect to change?

I think that, although China is a big strategic issue of our time, we cannot ignore the more aggressive attitude and attitude of the obstacles adopted by Russia. And I think both the U.S. and the UK think it’s a shame that Russia has decided to take an almost gangster approach to foreign policy. We would like to have a productive relationship with Russia, but it is very difficult to have that, while Russia is doing such things as you describe. There are sanctions. We are in close contact with the American administration and our partners from the EU about what else can be done to oppose Russia. Part of that is about pushing into NATO.

We are still talking about how best to counter this. We will work together to defend our democratic systems, and also to work together on cyber. …

I assure you that we are really watching the security side carefully. I cannot go into details in public, but I can assure you that such things have been entered into very forensically and that we are cooperating very closely on the possibilities we may oppose.

The other part of this global strategy is to suppress China. … And you send new aircraft carrier there. Explain why. Is this primarily a show for the United States?

Absolutely not. All this is because of what we see as Britain’s role in the world, helping to solve global problems. And we are a global security player. The review I mentioned earlier speaks to more efforts in the Indo-Pacific Ocean because of the vital importance of that region for world trade, global stability and security. And we want to show our support for those goals, and that’s one of the reasons why the strike group will go there. It is not a matter of conflict with China. Conversely, if we manage to find ways to collaborate on the global stage with China, we are very happy to do so.

As for the pandemic, the UK is far ahead of most other countries in vaccinating its people. And right now, four countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom, make up about half of the global vaccine doses administered. What role do you think these two countries have in helping the rest of the world get vaccinated?

The UK, along with some partners in Europe, especially France and Germany, has started COVAX system, which is funded to give developing countries access to vaccines as they are developed. I The Biden administration has now joined it is very welcome. Hosts of the G7 summit in June. And one of the things the summit will look at is more vaccines for the developing world and how we avoid future pandemics – and if we can’t avoid them, how we pool our resources together to better manage them.

So a lot is happening. We cannot be complacent. Many developing countries do not yet have the vaccines they need. But if we can work together, we can develop better systems to get those vaccines for them. …

The world will not be safe from COVID as long as everyone who needs it can get the vaccine. So we have to keep going. And while vaccine delivery systems in developing countries are not perfect, it is a very good start.

Vincent Acovino and Becky Sullivan produced and edited the audio interview. James Doubek produced for the Internet.

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