- UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government privately wants President Donald Trump to lose the November US presidential election to Joe Biden, according to a new report.
- UK government sources told The Sunday Times that Johnson’s government had been trying to distance itself from the Trump administration in anticipation of a Biden victory.
- Johnson’s government has reportedly ditched plans to sign a trade deal with Trump this year.
- A senior UK diplomat previously told Business Insider that a Biden victory would bring an end to what the person described as the “venal corruption” of the Trump era.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
The UK government is privately “desperate” for US President Donald Trump to lose November’s presidential election and be replaced by Joe Biden, according to a report by The Sunday Times.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is publicly one of Trump’s closest international allies.
His government, however, has been privately trying to distance itself from the US president in anticipation of a Biden victory, The Times reports.
“It would make things much easier if Trump doesn’t win reelection,” one minister in Johnson’s government told the Times reporter Tim Shipman, who added that many agreed with the sentiment.
Some UK officials are also hopeful of a Biden victory.
One senior UK diplomat, who asked not to be named, told Insider earlier this month that a Biden presidency would bring a welcome end to what the person called the “venal corruption” of the Trump era.
“A lot of stuff will change if Biden wins,” the diplomat said.
“The venal corruption of the Trump family and the nasty narcissistic aspects of his behaviour – all that will go with a different sort of president,” the person said.
Biden and Johnson are not natural allies. The presumptive Democratic nominee opposed Johnson’s pet project of Brexit and has reportedly described the UK prime minister as a “clone” of Trump.
Relations between Johnson and Trump’s administrations have been strained in recent months, however, amid Trump’s ultimately successful efforts to force Johnson’s government to cut its ties with the Chinese telecoms company Huawei.
The president is said to have slammed the phone down on Johnson in a moment of “apoplectic” fury in January, when Johnson initially refused to scrap the UK’s deal with Huawei to help develop Britain’s 5G network.
The UK relented following the imposition of US sanctions on the company. The row, however, has helped to reduce the UK government’s appetite to strike a new trade deal with Trump.
On her recent trip to Washington, UK International Trade Secretary Liz Truss was told to downplay the prospects of a deal.
“Boris was trying to distance himself from Trump,” one UK government adviser told The Sunday Times.
Fears among UK voters about the impact of a US trade deal on food standards in Britain have reportedly forced Johnson’s government to put the brakes on what had once been promoted as a rapid agreement.
“Is it going to happen this year? Basically, no,” one UK government official told the Financial Times recently, adding: “We don’t want to be bounced into a deal.”
Johnson’s government believes that a Biden victory could take the “sting” out of the issue, because the Democrat might revive President Barack Obama’s plan to sign the US up to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.
One Conservative Party adviser told The Sunday Times: “The assumption in Whitehall is that if Biden wins, we won’t need to do a bilateral trade deal because we might both end up in CPTPP. That is already committed to high standards of animal welfare. Some of the sting will be removed from those issues.”