Special Relationship (U.S.-UK)

Special Relationship (U.S.-UK)

The phrase special relationship is often used to describe the exceptionally close and positive political, diplomatic, cultural and historical relations between the United States and the United Kingdom, following its use in a 1946 speech by Winston Churchill. While both countries maintain close relationships with many others, the level of cooperation in military planning, execution of military operations, nuclear weapons technology and intelligence sharing with each other has been described as "unparalleled" among major powers.cite journal | last =James| first =Wither| year =2006| month =March| title =An Endangered Partnership: The Anglo-American Defence Relationship in the Early Twenty-first Century| journal =European Security| volume =15| issue =1| pages =47–65| doi =10.1080/09662830600776694| id =ISSN|0966-2839| accessdate =2007-01-09]

History and overview

The existence of a special relationship between the two governments has been recognized since the nineteenth century, not least by rival powers. ['The Anglo-American Arbitration Treaty', "The Times" (14 January 1897), pg. 5, col. C, quoting the 'semi-official organ' the "North-German Gazette": 'There is, therefore, not the slightest occasion for other States to adopt as their model and example a form of agreement which may, perhaps, be advantage to England and America in their special relationship.'] ['The New American Ambassador', "The Times" (7 June 1913); pg. 9, col. C: 'No Ambassador to this or any other nation is similarly honoured ... It is intended to be, we need hardly say, precisely what it is, a unique compliment, a recognition on our part that Great Britain and the United States stand to one another in a special relationship, and that between them some departure from the merely official attitude is most natural.'] ['The Conference and the Far East', "The Times" (21 November 1921), pg. 11, col. B, C: 'The answer of the [Japanese] Ambassador [Baron Kato] shows that he and his Government even then [1911] appreciated the special relationship between this country [the United Kingdom] and the United States ... That, probably, the Japanese Government understands now, as clearly as their predecessors understood in 1911 that we could never make war on the United States.'] ['Limit of Navy Economies', "The Times" (13 March 1923), pg. 14; col. F: 'After comparing the programmes of Britain, America, and Japan, the First Lord said that so far from importing into our maintenance of the one-Power standard a spirit of keen and jealous competition, we had, on the contrary, interpreted it with a latitude which could only be justified by our desire to avoid provoking competition and by our conception of the special relationship of good will and mutual understanding between ourselves and the United States.'] ['Five Years Of The League', "The Times" (10 January 1925), pg. 13, col. C: 'As was well pointed out in our columns yesterday by Professor Muirhead, Great Britain stands in a quite special relationship to that great Republic [the United States] .'] ['The Walter Page Fellowships. Mr. Spender's Visit To America., Dominant Impressions', "The Times" (23 February 1928), pg. 16, col. B, quoting J. A. Spender: 'The problem for British and Americans was to make their special relationship a good relationship, to be candid and open with each other, and to refrain from the envy and uncharitableness which too often in history had embittered the dealings of kindred peoples.'] During World War II, as an observer noted, 'Great Britain and the United States integrated their military efforts to a degree unprecedented among major allies in the history of warfare.' [Ernest K. Lindley, 'Churchill's Proposal', "Washington Post" (9 March 1946), pg. 7.] The special relationship was given renewed impetus and publicity at the onset of the Cold War by Winston Churchill's 'Sinews of Peace Address' in Fulton, Missouri. Churchill was himself half-American and felt keenly the links between the English-speaking peoples. He first used the term in 1945 to describe not the US-UK relationship alone but the UK relationship with both the United States and Canada [ [http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/special-relationship.html Special relationship ] ] . A year later he again used the phrase, this time to note the special relationship between the United States on the one hand, and the English-speaking countries of the British Commonwealth and Empire under the leadership of the United Kingdom on the other.

Neither the sure prevention of war, nor the continuous rise of world organization will be gained without what I have called the fraternal association of the English-speaking peoples ...a special relationship between the British Commonwealth and Empire and the United States. Fraternal association requires not only the growing friendship and mutual understanding between our two vast but kindred systems of society, but the continuance of the intimate relationship between our military advisers, leading to common study of potential dangers, the similarity of weapons and manuals of instructions, and to the interchange of officers and cadets at technical colleges. It should carry with it the continuance of the present facilities for mutual security by the joint use of all Naval and Air Force bases in the possession of either country all over the world.There is however an important question we must ask ourselves. Would a special relationship between the United States and the British Commonwealth be inconsistent with our over-riding loyalties to the World Organisation? I reply that, on the contrary, it is probably the only means by which that organisation will achieve its full stature and strength.

However the personal intimacy between the respective heads of government that Churchill essayed was a new departure. During World War I, for example, President Woodrow Wilson and Prime Minister David Lloyd George had enjoyed nothing that could be described as a special relationship, although Lloyd George's wartime Foreign Secretary, Arthur Balfour, got on well with Wilson during his time in the United States and helped convince a sceptical Wilson to enter the war.Fact|date=March 2008

Under Harold Wilson the United Kingdom, as co-chairman with the Soviet Union of the Geneva Conference, acted as a mediator in the Vietnam war and gave only qualified support to US policy in Vietnam (at least officially - and it did not commit regular forces, only special forces instructors). Militarily this stance was however consistent with an earlier burden-sharing arrangement reached under Harold Macmillan whereby British forces had been concentrated against the Communist insurgency in Malaya. Australia and New Zealand were English-speaking allies of the United States within the British Commonwealth that did commit regular forces to fight in the Vietnam War.

President Bush stated that the United Kingdom was the United States' "closest friend in the world" in November 2003 in the Banqueting House in London.Fact|date=March 2008 However, President Bush's favors were rather promiscuous: he also said "We have no greater friend than Mexico" (September 2001)Fact|date=March 2008, and "We have no better friend than Canada" (February 2002)Fact|date=March 2008. The 'special relationship' was most recently demonstrated during the war in Iraq.

Military cooperation

The intense level of military co-operation began with the creation of the Combined Chiefs of Staff in December 1941, a military command with authority over all American and British operations. This cooperation has increased steadily since the early 1950s when military contacts were re-established.

hared military bases

Since the Second World War and the subsequent Berlin Blockade, the United States has maintained substantial forces in Great Britain. In July 1948, the first American deployment began with the stationing of B-29 bombers. Currently, an important base is the radar facility RAF Fylingdales, part of the US Ballistic Missile Early Warning System, although this base is operated under entirely British command and has only one USAF representative for largely administrative reasons. Several bases with a significant US presence include RAF Menwith Hill (only a short distance from RAF Fylingdales), RAF Lakenheath and RAF Mildenhall.

During the Cold War critics of the special relationship jocularly referred to the United Kingdom as the "biggest aircraft carrier in the world." [In George Orwell's novel "1984" Britain (now part of a bloc including North America) is called "Airstrip One".]

Following the end of the Cold War, which was the main rationale for their presence, the number of US facilities in the United Kingdom has been reduced in number in line with the US military worldwide. Despite this, these bases have been used extensively in support of various peacekeeping and offensive operations of the 1990s and early 21st century.

The two nations also jointly operate a military facility on Diego Garcia in the British Indian Ocean Territory and on Ascension Island, a dependency of Saint Helena in the Atlantic Ocean.

Nuclear weapons development

The Quebec Agreement of 1943 paved the way for the two countries to develop atomic weapons side by side, the United Kingdom handing over vital documents from its own Tube Alloys project and sending a delegation to assist in the work of the Manhattan Project. America kept the results of the work to itself due to the postwar McMahon Act, but after Britain developed its own thermonuclear weapons, the United States agreed to supply delivery systems, designs and nuclear material for British warheads through the 1958 US-UK Mutual Defence Agreement.

Britain purchased first Polaris and then the Trident system which remains in use today. This co-operation has allowed Britain to establish a more efficient, cost effective nuclear deterrent than France's "Force de frappe".Fact|date=March 2008 British attempts to provide reciprocal technology to the U.S., such as Chevaline, have been largely unsuccessful.Fact|date=March 2008 The 1958 agreement gave the UK access to the facilities at the Nevada Test Site and it would conduct a total of 25 underground tests there before the cessation of testing in 1991. The agreement under which this partnership operates was recently updated [ [http://www.guardian.co.uk/military/story/0,11816,1269990,00.html Nuclear weapons treaty may be illegal | UK news | The Guardian ] ] ; it is arguedWho|date=May 2008 that US assistance for the UK nuclear deterrent is in breach of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Military procurement

The United Kingdom is the only "level one" international partner in the largest U.S. aircraft procurement project in history, the F-35 Lightning II program.Fact|date=March 2008 The United Kingdom was involved in writing the specification and selection and its largest defense contractor BAE Systems is a partner of the American prime contractor Lockheed Martin. BAE Systems is also the largest foreign supplier to the United States Defense Department and has been permitted to buy important US defense companies such as Lockheed Martin Aerospace Electronic Systems and United Defense.

Other joint projects include the RAF Harrier GR9 or United States Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier II and the US Navy T-45 Goshawk. Both nations also operate several common designs, including the Javelin anti-tank missile, M270 rocket artillery, the Apache gunship, C-130 Hercules and C-17 Globemaster transport aircraft.

Other areas of cooperation

Intelligence sharing

The special relationship has maintained ties in collecting and sharing intelligence since World War II.Fact|date=March 2008 This aspect of the relationship originally grew from the common goal of monitoring and countering the threat of communism.

One present-day example of such cooperation is the UKUSA Community, comprising the USA's National Security Agency, the United Kingdom's Government Communications Headquarters, Australia's Defence Signals Directorate and Canada's Communications Security Establishment collaborating on ECHELON, a global intelligence gathering system. Moreover, the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada are the only countries which the CIA has publicly statedFact|date=March 2008 that it does not spy upon. This is generally interpretedWho|date=May 2008 as meaning that the CIA does not maintain intelligence agents in these aforementioned countries.

Economic policy

The United States is the largest source of Foreign Direct Investment to the UK economy, likewise the United Kingdom is the largest single investor in the US economy. [http://www.fco.gov.uk/servlet/Front?pagename=OpenMarket/Xcelerate/ShowPage&c=Page&cid=1007029394365&a=KCountryProfile&aid=1020687801023] British trade and capital have been important components of the American economy since its colonial inception.

Personal relationships

The relationship often depends on the personal relations between British Prime Ministers and U.S. Presidents. The first example was the close relationship between Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt who were in fact distantly related. [Spencer family]

Prior to their collaboration during World War II Anglo-American relations had been somewhat frosty. President Woodrow Wilson and Prime Minister David Lloyd George had enjoyed nothing that could be described as a special relationship, although Lloyd George's wartime Foreign Secretary, Arthur Balfour, got on well with Wilson during his time in the United States and helped convince a previously skeptical Wilson to enter the war.Fact|date=March 2008 Churchill, himself half-American, spent much time and effort cultivating the relationship which paid dividends for the war effort though it cost Britain much of her wealth and ultimately her empireFact|date=April 2007. Two great architects of the special relationship on a practical level were Field Marshal Sir John Dill and General George Marshall whose excellent personal relations and senior positions (Roosevelt was especially close to Marshall) oiled the wheels of the alliance considerably.

The links that were created during the war—such as the U.K. military liaison officers posted to Washington—persist. However for Britain to gain any benefit from the relationship it became clearWho|date=May 2008 that a constant policy of personal engagement was required. Britain starting off in 1941 as somewhat the senior partner had quickly found itself the junior.Fact|date=March 2008 The diplomatic policy was thus two pronged, encompassing strong personal support and equally forthright military and political aid. These two have always operated in tandem, that is to say the best personal relationships between British prime ministers and American presidents have always been those based around shared goals. For example, Harold Wilson's government would not commit troops to Vietnam. Harold Wilson and Lyndon Johnson did not get on especially well.Fact|date=December 2007

Peaks in the special relationship include the bonds between Harold Macmillan (who like Churchill had an American mother) and John F. Kennedy, and between Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan.Fact|date=March 2008 Nadirs have included the U.S. government's opposition to U.K. operations in Suez under Anthony Eden and Wilson's refusal to enter the war in Vietnam.

While the relationship between the two countries may have been strained by Reagan's neutrality in the initial phases of the Falklands War, this was more than countered by the U.S. Defense Secretary, Casper Weinberger, who approved shipments of the latest weapons to the massing British task force. Bill Clinton was poorly disposed towards John Major after it was alleged that the Conservative government had allowed his Republican opponents access to British documents detailing his time at Oxford University.Fact|date=March 2008 Friction in their relationship was also demonstrated when in March 1995 Major refused to answer the phone calls of Clinton over his decision to invite Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams to the White House for Saint Patrick's Day. [cite web|url=http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,12271,1243638,00.html|title='Mandela helped me survive Monicagate, Arafat could not make the leap to peace - and for days John Major wouldn't take my calls'|work=The Guardian|date= 21 June 2004|accessdate=2006-09-17]

The personal diplomacy of British prime minister Tony Blair and U.S. president George W. Bush served to highlight the special relationship. Despite their political differences on non-strategic matters, their shared beliefs and responses to the international situation formed a commonality of purpose following the September 11 Attacks in New York and Washington DC. Blair, like Bush, was convinced of the importance of moving against the perceived threat to world peace and international order.Fact|date=March 2008

Blair flew to Washington immediately after 9/11 to affirm British solidarity with the United States. In a speech to the United States Congress, nine days after the attacks, Bush declared "America has no truer friend than Great Britain." [ [http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2001/09/20010920-8.html Address to a Joint Session of Congress and the American People] September 20, 2001] Following that speech Blair embarked on two months of diplomacy gathering international support for military action. The BBC estimatesFact|date=March 2008 that, in total, the prime minister held 54 meetings with world leaders and travelled more than 40,000 miles (60,000 km)..

The 2006 Lebanon War also exposed some minor differences in attitudes over the Middle East. The strong support offered by Blair and the Bush administration to Israel was not wholeheartedly shared by the British cabinet or the British public. On 27 July, Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett criticised the United States for "ignoring procedure" when using Prestwick Airport as a stop off point for delivering laser-guided bombs to Israel. [cite news | first = | last = | author = | coauthors =| url =http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/5218036.stm | title = Beckett protest at weapons flight | work = | publisher =BBC News | pages = | page = |date=2006-07-27 | accessdate =2006-08-17 | language = ] On 17 August, "The Independent" reported that Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott had said that George Bush was "crap" with regard to the Middle East Roadmap, which Prescott felt had been a condition of his support for the war in Iraq. [cite news | first =Colin | last =Brown | author = | coauthors =| url =http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/politics/article1219716.ece | title =Bush is crap, says Prescott | work = | publisher = The Independent| pages = | page = |date=2006-08-17 | accessdate =2006-08-17 | language = ] [cite news | first =Will| last =Woodward | author = | coauthors =| url =http://politics.guardian.co.uk/labour/story/0,,1851980,00.html | title =Bush is crap, Prescott tells Labour MPs | work = | publisher = The Guardian| pages = | page = |date=2006-08-17 | accessdate =2006-08-24 | language = ]

Public opinion

Perspectives on the special relationship differ. Polls of the U.S. public show that the United Kingdom, as an "ally in the war on terror" is viewed more positively than any other country. 76% of Americans polled viewed the British as an "ally in the War on Terror" according to Rasmussen Reports. [ [http://www.rasmussenreports.com/2006/National%20Polls/Allies%20and%20Enemies.htm Rasmussen Reports™: The most comprehensive public opinion coverage ever provided for a presidential election ] ] According to Harris Interactive 74% of Americans view Great Britain as a "close ally in the war in Iraq", well ahead of next-ranked Canada at 48%.

A June 2006 poll by Populus for "The Times" [ [http://www.populuslimited.com/poll_summaries/2006_06_06_times.htm Populus poll] June 2 - June 4, 2006] showed that the number of Britons agreeing that "it is important for Britain’s long-term security that we have a close and special relationship with America" had fallen to 58% (from 71% in April), and that 65% believed that "Britain’s future lies more with Europe than America." 44% agreed that "America is a force for good in the world." A later poll reported in "The Guardian" [ [http://politics.guardian.co.uk/foreignaffairs/story/0,,1828225,00.html Stand up to US, voters tell Blair] July 25, 2006] during the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict said that 63% of Britons felt that the United Kingdom is tied too closely to the United States. A 2008 poll by "The Economist" has shown that Britons' views differ considerably from Americans' views when asked about the topics of religion, values, and national interest. [ "Anglo-Saxon attitudes", The Economist, 29 March 2008 ] "The Economist" remarked:

For many Britons, steeped in the lore of how English-speaking democracies rallied around Britain in the second world war, [the special relationship] is something to cherish. For Winston Churchill ... it was a bond forged in battle. On the eve of the war in Iraq, as Britain prepared to fight alongside America, Tony Blair spoke of the "blood price" that Britain should be prepared to pay in order to sustain the relationship. In America, it is not nearly so emotionally charged. Indeed, American politicians are promiscuous with the term, trumpeting their "special relationships" with Israel, Germany and South Korea, among others. "Mention the special relationship to Americans and they say yes, it's a "really" special relationship," notes sardonically Sir Christopher Meyer, a former British ambassador to Washington ["The Economist" 26 July 2008 page 66] .


Refusal of the US Government to heed British advice regarding post-war plans for Iraq, specifically the critical importance of preventing the power vacuum in which the current insurgency plaguing the country was allowed to develop. After the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the United Kingdom criticized the United States' de-Ba'athification policy i.e. the purging of Saddam Hussein's party from government. Geoff Hoon, then the U.K. defence secretary, has stated that the United Kingdom "lost the argument" with the Bush administration over rebuilding Iraq. [ [http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,,2252730,00.html Prince Andrew rebukes US over Iraq war | UK news | guardian.co.uk ] ] Speaking on the same topic, Prince Andrew said there are "occasions when people in the U.K. would wish that those in responsible positions in the U.S. might listen and learn from our experiences", [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7227627.stm BBC NEWS | UK | Prince Andrew rebukes United States on Iraq ] ] that there is "healthy skepticism" in the United Kingdom toward what is said in Washington DC, [ [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2008/02/05/nandrew105.xml Prince Andrew rebukes America over Iraq - Telegraph ] ] and a feeling of "why didn't anyone listen to what was said [in the UK] and the advice that was given." [ [http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/02/04/america/andrew.php From Prince Andrew, critical words for the United States on Iraq - International Herald Tribune ] ] CNN have acknowledged that the Prince's views are widely shared in the UK. [ [http://edition.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/europe/02/05/prince.iraq/index.html Prince: U.S. ignored U.K. over Iraq - CNN.com ] ]

After the Iraq War, there were a series of coroners' inquests into so-called friendly fire incidents relating to U.K. armed servicemen who had been killed by U.S. forces. The U.S. Government routinely hindered the coroner's investigation by refusing to cooperate. In January 2007 this culminated in the United States preventing the release of cockpit videos showing events leading to the death of Lance-Corporal Matty Hull of the Household Cavalry, and threatening newspapers who published them with prosecution. This particular incident caused a diplomatic row.

Extraordinary rendition

Assurances made by the U.S. to the U.K. that "extraordinary rendition" flights had never landed on British territory were later shown to be false when official U.S. records proved that such flights had landed at Diego Garcia repeatedly. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7257574.stm BBC NEWS | Politics | Miliband's apology over 'rendition' ] ] The revelation was an embarrassment for British foreign secretary David Miliband, who was obliged to apologise to Parliament, describing the incidents as "a most serious matter". [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7257383.stm BBC NEWS | Politics | Political fall-out from rendition ] ] [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7257500.stm BBC NEWS | Politics | In full: Miliband rendition statement ] ]

Legal and moral doubts have also arisen over the U.S. government's extraordinary rendition process, [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6934782.stm BBC NEWS | UK | Profile: UK residents in Guantanamo ] ] which ignores extradition treaties and officially sanctions the kidnap and extrajudicial transfer of people (some of them U.K. citizens) from one country to another, sometimes to one of their covert CIA-run prisons, known as black sites, other times to Guantanamo Bay detention camp. [ [http://www.newstatesman.com/200601230005 New Statesman - Rendition: the cover-up ] ] The United Kingdom's Intelligence and Security Committee stated that America's refusal to listen to British concerns regarding this issue had "serious implications" for future intelligence relations. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/6915652.stm BBC NEWS | Politics | US 'ignored' UK rendition protest ] ]

Criminal law

In 2003 the United States pressed the United Kingdom to agree to an inequitable extradition treaty, [ [http://www.chathamhouse.org.uk/pdf/research/il/ILP190505.pdf Chatham House report] ] whereby the United Kingdom was obligated to make a strong prima facie case to U.S. courts before extradition would be granted. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/5171266.stm BBC NEWS | Politics | MPs angry at 'unfair' extradition ] ] [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4738760.stm BBC NEWS | UK | Extradition 'imbalance' faces Lords' test ] ] In contrast, extradition from the United Kingdom to the United States was a matter of administrative decision alone, without prima facie evidence. This had been implemented as an anti-terrorist measure in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks. Very soon, however, it was being used by the United States to extradite and prosecute a number of high-profile London businessmen (e.g. the Natwest Three and Ian Norris [ [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2005/05/09/norris09.xml Latest news, breaking news, current news, UK news, world news, celebrity news, politics news - Telegraph ] ] ) on fraud charges. Contrasts have been drawn with the United States' harboring of Provisional IRA terrorists in the 1970s through to the 1990s. [ [http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F50A17FE385C0C778DDDAB0994DC484D81&n=Top%2fReference%2fTimes%20Topics%2fSubjects%2fE%2fExtradition U.S. Judge Rejects Bid For Extradition Of I.R.A. Murderer - Free Preview - The New York Times ] ] There was also indignation that U.S. service personnel who had killed U.K. colleagues in friendly fire incidents (where a subsequent inquest verdict of unlawful killing was returned) were sheltered from extradition to the United Kingdom. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6456191.stm BBC NEWS | UK | Search for truth on 'friendly fire' death ] ] The United States also refused to accede to another priority of the Blair government, the treaty setting up the International Criminal Court. [ [http://www.globalpolicy.org/intljustice/icc/2006/0112patience.htm "The Daily Telegraph" report] ]

On 30 September 2006 the U.S. Senate unanimously ratified a treaty allowing for equal extradition requirements between the two countries. Ratification had been slowed by complaints from some Irish-American groups that the treaty would create new legal jeopardy for U.S. citizens who opposed British policy in Northern Ireland. [ [http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aEgU_TIgfK1U&refer=home "Senate Unanimously Ratifies U.S./U.K. Extradition Treaty", Carlos Torres, September 30 2006, Bloomberg ] ]

In a number of cases value differences also appeared to have led to verdicts by U.S. courts that were regarded as miscarriages of justice in the United Kingdom. One example was of an Aberdonian who after a "good night out" in a U.S. city became lost and knocked on a door to ask the way; the householder shot him dead through the door and was later acquitted of any crime.Fact|date=May 2008 Another was of Chantal McCorkle, a Briton imprisoned for over 24 years in 1998 [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/berkshire/4462785.stm BBC NEWS | England | Berkshire | New hope for jailed British woman ] ] following minor involvement in a trading fraud.

Trade policy

The United States has been accused of pursuing an aggressive trade policy, using or ignoring WTO rules; the aspects of this causing most difficulty to the United Kingdom have been high tariffs on British steel products [ [http://www.eurunion.org/news/press/2003/2003069.htm EU report on steel tariffs] ] and a successful challenge to the protection of small family banana farmers in the West Indies from large U.S. corporations such as the American Financial Corporation. [ [http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=author:%22Clegg%22+intitle:%22From+Insiders+to+Outsiders:+Caribbean+Banana+Interests+...%22+&hl=en&cr=countryUK%7CcountryGB&oi=scholarr] Clegg: From Insiders to Outsiders: Caribbean Banana Interests in the New International Trading Framework] ]


In October 2007 The United Kingdom's first Muslim government minister, Shahid Malik, rebuked U.S authorities after having been detained and searched for explosives at a Washington airport on his way home from a meeting with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. [BBC Radio 4 news report morning bulletins 29 October 2007] [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/west_yorkshire/7066944.stm BBC NEWS | England | West Yorkshire | Minister detained at US airport ] ] This was the second occasion on which this Member of Parliament had been detained and searched, having received the same treatment at JFK airport during a visit to the United States in November 2006. Mr Malik remarked: "The abusive attitude I endured last November I forgot about and I forgave, but I really do believe that British ministers and parliamentarians should be afforded the same respect and dignity at USA airports that we would bestow upon our colleagues in the Senate and Congress." [http://www.shahidmalikmp.org/News/Statement-on-detention-at]

The ongoing refusal of the U.S. Embassy in London to pay the London congestion charge has also been a minor source of controversy. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/4359566.stm BBC NEWS | Politics | US diplomats in London roads row ] ] American Embassy officials claimed they did not have to pay the congestion charge because it was a tax, from which diplomats were exempt. London officials asserted that the congestion charge was no different from the toll charges paid by drivers to travel into U.S. cities such as Manhattan via bridges and roads. U.S. embassies paid similar congestion charges in Singapore and Oslo. [ [http://www.london.gov.uk/view_press_release.jsp?releaseid=9148 Greater London Authority - Press Release ] ]

Current status

Although British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has stated his support for the United States, [cite news | | author = | coauthors =| url =http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/6896797.stm | title =Speech not critical of US - Brown | work = | publisher = BBC News| pages = | page = |date=2007-07-13 | language = ] he has appointed ministers to the Foreign Office who have been critical of aspects of the relationship or of recent U.S. policy. [cite news | url =http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/6898587.stm | title =US and UK 'no longer inseparable' | publisher = BBC News|date=2007-07-14] [cite news | url =http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/6897313.stm | title =The subtle shift in British foreign policy | work = | publisher = BBC News| pages = | page = |date=2007-07-14 | language = ] Present British policy is that the relationship with the United States represents Britain's "most important bilateral relationship". [ [http://www.ft.com/cms/s/f845cfdc-3bd8-11dc-8002-0000779fd2ac.html FT.com / Home UK / UK - Ties that bind: Bush, Brown and a different relationship ] ]

ee also

* Anglo-American relations
* Foreign relations of the United Kingdom
* Foreign relations of the United States
* The Great Rapprochement

External links

* June 2002, "Policy Review", [http://www.hoover.org/publications/policyreview/3460326.html The State of the Special Relationship]
* [http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-2478925,00.html State Department Official disparages the relationship]
* May 2007, Professor Stephen Haseler (Global Policy Institute, London Metropolitan University) has written a book examining the history of the special relationship from a British perspective entitled [http://www.global-policy.com Sidekick: Bulldog to Lapdog, British Global Strategy from Churchill to Blair]


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