Britain needs to use "sharp elbows" in its dealings with Washington because Barack Obama is "less sentimental" about the historic links between Britain and the United States, a former ambassador to the US has claimed.
The warning from Sir David Manning, who was Tony Blair's main foreign policy adviser during the Iraq war before serving as ambassador to Washington, was cited by a Commons select committee which called today for a reassessment of Britain's "special relationship" with the US.
Prime ministers of all hues, from Harold Macmillan to Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair, have fostered the idea that the two largest English-speaking countries enjoy a historic bond which elevates their relationship to a special level.
But MPs on the cross-party foreign affairs select committee said this romantic vision had had its day. "The use of the phrase 'the special relationship' in its historical sense, to describe the totality of the ever-evolving UK-US relationship, is potentially misleading, and we recommend that its use should be avoided," the MPs concluded. "The overuse of the phrase by some politicians and many in the media serves simultaneously to devalue its meaning and to raise unrealistic expectations about the benefits the relationship can deliver to the UK."
Mmm...Mmmm...Mmm... He has the reverse Midas Touch.
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