25 Nov How Essex MP Priti Patel could help Boris Johnson get Joe Biden on-side
Former vice-president of the United States Joe Biden eventually defeated Donald Trump in the US election, and Barack Obama’s former right-hand man is set to take the top job from January 2021.
Biden is set for a bumpy ride before he moves into the Oval Office, though. For instance, in terms of the political betting with Paddy Power, Trump is odds-on to refuse to concede before Biden is sworn in, with many believing that the former Apprentice star will never concede defeat publicly. This is said to be causing problems for Biden’s team in terms of their preparations ahead of starting the job.
How does this affect Essex, and the UK in general, though? For starters, commentators have suggested that Biden’s imminent ascension to the presidency could be bad news for British prime minister Boris Johnson in terms of his plans for Brexit. Biden has Irish ancestry and could make life difficult for Johnson if he continues to follow his current plans in regards to the Irish border. The problem is underlined by the fact that Biden is reportedly set to make Ireland his first official foreign visit, a move that is seen as a snub towards the UK by many.
America, I’m honored that you have chosen me to lead our great country.
The work ahead of us will be hard, but I promise you this: I will be a President for all Americans — whether you voted for me or not.
I will keep the faith that you have placed in me. pic.twitter.com/moA9qhmjn8
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) November 7, 2020
Priti Patel is the MP for Witham in Essex and forms a key part of Johnson’s government as the Secretary of State for the Home Department. With Dominic Cummings and Lee Cain now out of the picture, the Prime Minister’s inner circle looks somewhat diminished ahead of a tricky period ahead. Johnson has shown faith in Patel by keeping her in such a coveted cabinet position, and will need to rely on her and other key members of the cabinet in order to make the most of the Brexit negotiations and get Biden on-side.
Some have said that Johnson’s previous comments about Obama when he was the president remain in Biden’s mind, and that he views Johnson as a difficult nut to crack in some ways. Such a position is unlikely to be helpful for Johnson, and his team are almost certainly hoping to woo Biden’s inner circle in the coming weeks. Patel could play a huge part of that.
I just spoke to @JoeBiden to congratulate him on his election. I look forward to strengthening the partnership between our countries and to working with him on our shared priorities – from tackling climate change, to promoting democracy and building back better from the pandemic.
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) November 10, 2020
Essex largely voted to leave the EU in 2016, with some areas recording as high as 72% if votes in favour of leaving. Johnson’s government are reaching a crunch point in negotiations, with Britain set to crash out of the union in January. Voters from Essex will be watching the government’s actions with curiosity. It feels as though the next period will define how this government is viewed by Essex and the rest of the country for years to come. Patel and Johnson hope that everything will work out for the best and run smoothly.