UK needs to be less deferential to US, MPs say

In a new report, Global security: UK-US relations, members of Britain’s parliamentary foreign affairs committee say that the so-called “special relationship” between Britain and America is a thing of the past and it’s time for British leaders to stop kissing American ass — well, they didn’t use those exact words, but that’s what they meant. The BBC reports:

The committee said that the relationship was more associated now with the perceived support Britain gave to President George W Bush over the Iraq war.

“The perception that the British government was a subservient ‘poodle’ to the US administration leading up to the period of the invasion of Iraq and its aftermath is widespread both among the British public and overseas,” it said.

“This perception, whatever its relation to reality, is deeply damaging to the reputation and interests of the UK.”

The committee also said US President Barack Obama had taken the same “pragmatic” attitude as it was recommending now since entering the White House in 2009.

It said: “The UK needs to be less deferential and more willing to say no to the US on those issues where the two countries’ interests and values diverge.

“The UK’s relationship should be principally driven by the UK’s national interests within individual policy areas. It needs to be characterised by a hard-headed political approach to the relationship and a realistic sense of the UK’s limits.”

Committee chairman Mike Gapes said: “We must be realistic and accept that globalisation, structural changes and shifts in geopolitical power will inevitably affect the UK-US relationship.

“Over the longer-term, the UK is unlikely to be able to influence the US to the extent it has in the past.”

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