Former diplomat and cross-bench peer, Peter Ricketts claimed this week, Germany and France will become the centre of gravity for the US if Joe Biden wins next month’s election. The UK has long been seen as America’s link to Europe but due to Brexit and Donald Trump potentially leaving office, the former National Security Advisor and ambassador to France claimed Britain will not be as important for the US.
He said: “When Biden looks towards Europe, he will see Paris and Berlin more as the centre of gravity of what’s really important for America in Europe, both economically and in security terms, and Britain will be seen rather as an outlier, rather outside the mainstream of Europe.
“There will continue to be an important bilateral relationship on defence and security of course, but in other areas, Britain will not have the same prominence it has been used to having in Washington because, frankly, Britain is less useful to the US administration.”
Speaking to Politico, he also claimed under Mr Biden, the US will pay particular interest to the impacts of Brexit on Ireland.
Mr Biden had already sent a warning shot to the UK over how the Internal Market Bill could hinder the Good Friday Peace Agreement last month.
Boris Johnson given dire Brexit warning
Joe Biden will not prioritise the UK
If peace in Ireland is threatened, Mr Biden warned any potential US-UK trade deal could be affected.
He tweeted: “We can’t allow the Good Friday Agreement that brought peace to Northern Ireland to become a casualty of Brexit.
“Any trade deal between the US and UK must be contingent upon respect for the Agreement and preventing the return of a hard border.”
Lord Ricketts said: “The Biden administration would be very careful, very prudent about how to deal with this Brexit Britain.”
His warning comes as the UK’s former ambassador to the US, Sir Ivan Rogers, told The Observer the Prime Minister was waiting for the US election before deciding whether to leave the EU without a deal.
Peter Ricketts is a retired British senior diplomat
Downing Street, however, has rejected this claim and insisted the UK was attempting to intensify talks to agree a deal.
Despite warning of the UK’s waning influence, Lord Rickett’s did claim he was hopeful a deal will be agreed with the EU.
While he expected the two sides to agree a deal, he warned any free trade agreement would not be a wide-ranging encompassing trade deal.
He said: “You can be sure that any deal that the Johnson government signs will be trumpeted as a great victory and it will be attributed to the tough negotiating tactic that has been followed.
Andrew Neil hits out at £180m post-Brexit spending splurge [Latest]
Brexit talks must focus on ‘major sticking point’ rather than fishing [Update]
Brexit news: ‘Much work still to be done’ to secure trade deal with EU [Insight]
Brexit news: The US will now look to Ms merkel and the French President
“In practice, I think the EU has been largely setting the agenda through these negotiations, which is partly why Britain has lost reputation as a result.”
In response to Lord Rickett’s claim, a Downing Street spokesman claimed Brexit talks continued at pace while the UK’s relationship with the US remain a separate matter.
They said: “Our trade negotiations with the U.S. are entirely separate from ongoing negotiations with the EU, and they are continuing to progress at pace.
“We’ll continue to work with whoever the next U.S. president is to ensure a good outcome that benefits both countries.”
Today, talks resumed in London as Michel Barnier and Lord Frost attempted to agree a deal.
Brexit news: Emmanuel Macron
On Monday, the Prime Minister’s spokesman claimed there is little time for the two sides to bridge significant gaps.
They added: “There is also much work to be done if we’re going to bridge what are the significant gaps that remain between our positions in the most difficult areas and time is very short.”