Is the 'special relationship' all over? Joe Biden did not use the phrase during first meeting with Liz Truss, sparking rumour it is being 'retired'

  • PM's first meeting with Biden in Washington showed phrase may be phased out
  • US President Biden instead told Liz Truss: 'You're our closest ally in the world.'
  • 'Special relationship' coined by Churchill in a 1946 lecture tour of US universities
  • White House denied that the term was 'retired' but offered to suspend its use¬†

The phrase has long stood for the enduring bond between the UK and US.

But Liz Truss‚Äôs first meeting with Joe Biden in Washington suggested the term ‚Äėspecial relationship‚Äô may be phased out as she launched her new foreign policy ethos.¬†

The President did not utter the words, first used by Winston Churchill, during bilateral talks, but instead told her: ‚ÄėYou‚Äôre our closest ally in the world.‚Äô

Last night the White House denied the term had been ‚Äėretired‚Äô but offered to suspend its use, with an official saying: ‚ÄėWe‚Äôll shut it down until we can figure out what‚Äôs going on.‚Äô¬†

However, the exchange was in sharp contrast to when Miss Truss entered No 10 earlier this month.

At the time, Mr Biden said he looked forward to ‚Äėdeepening the special relationship‚Äô between the two nations.

Liz Truss‚Äôs first meeting with Joe Biden in Washington suggested the term ‚Äėspecial relationship‚Äô may be phased out. The two leaders held a bilateral meeting during the PM's visit to the US to attend 77th UN General Assembly¬†

President Biden¬†did not utter the words, first used by Winston Churchill, but instead told Ms Truss: ‚ÄėYou‚Äôre our closest ally in the world.‚Äô

Though he previously used the phrase when dealing with Boris Johnson, the former prime minister has mooted axeing the term as it risks sounding ‚Äėneedy and weak‚Äô.

His official spokesman noted: ‚ÄėHe prefers not to use the phrase, but that in no way negates the importance in which we regard our relationship with the US.‚Äô

Miss Truss has previously backed her predecessor‚Äôs thoughts on the matter. Last year the PM told a fringe event at the Tory conference that the relationship was ‚Äėspecial but not exclusive‚Äô, adding that Britain should not be ‚Äėworried like some teenage girl at a party if we‚Äôre not considered to be good enough‚Äô.

The term was first used by Churchill in a 1946 lecture tour of American universities. It was most widely used to describe the close relationship between Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan. 

Relations between the countries have been strained in recent years, especially around post-Brexit trading in Northern Ireland.

Miss Truss held talks with Mr Biden at the UN General Assembly in New York in a bid to find common ground and reset the relationship. 

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Is the 'special relationship' all over? Biden didn't use phrase during first meeting with Liz Truss

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