Joe Biden’s explosive support of Thatcher over Falklands despite fury with Reagan

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When Mr Biden sat as part of the Senate and later its chair, President Ronald Reagan and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher had hit it off as the duo of modern Western Conservatism; the pair had forged a strong relationship years before coming to power. Mr Biden, meanwhile, was a staunch critic of Mr Reagan and thus naturally opposed to Ms Thatcher. His Democratic Party at the time, although conservative in some areas compared to today, was wholly more liberal than Mr Reagan’s Republicans and Ms Thatcher’s Tories.

As Chair of the Senate, Mr Biden often opposed Republican policies – his most notable attack being on the Reagan administration’s stance on apartheid in South Africa.

Despite being at odds with Mr Reagan and Ms Thatcher, Mr Biden remained committed to the cultural and historical roots that tied the US and Britain together.

This was especially true during his 1982 interview with CBC where Mr Biden called for the US – which had hitherto failed to commit to a side – to back the UK in its bid against Argentina over the Falkland Islands.

When asked whether the US’ backing the UK in the event of a war was dependent on a diplomatic breakthrough between Britain and Argentina, Mr Biden outright refused.

He instead proclaimed that the US should be an ally of the UK in such a situation, clearly outlining his support for Ms Thatcher.

He said: “I believe that my resolution which clearly calls for us to state whose side we’re on – which is the British side – will in fact, I believe, aid the negotiating process.

“It won’t diminish the chances of negotiation.

“I think the Argentinians must be disabused of the notion, assuming they harbour it, that the US is truly neutral in this matter.

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“I have no sense that my resolution calling on the US Congress to go on record in support of the British would be anything other than helpful.”

A letter written by Ms Thatcher in 1997 reveals a brief insight into her adoration for Mr Reagan: “As soon as I met Governor Reagan, I knew that we were of like mind, and manifestly so did he.

“We shared a rather unusual philosophy and we shared something else rather unusual as well: We were in politics because we wanted to put our philosophy into practice.”

Meanwhile, Mr Biden’s political career has spanned 50 years.


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Naturally, the President-elect has changed tact on policies as the zeitgeist has shifted.

And while Mr Biden previously pledged his support for the UK in the Eighties, today, his opinion has radically changed.

In light of Brexit, Mr Biden has on numerous occasions warned Prime Minister Boris Johnson over upholding the Good Friday Agreement.

He repeated his call today that the border between Ireland and the UK must remain open in the face of the Government’s proposed Internal Market Bill.

It is an issue close to Mr Biden as he has previously talked about his ancestors being of Irish descent.

The President-elect has told the UK that it should not expect as lucrative a deal as it would have received if President Donald Trump had won the election.

Since 2016, Mr Biden has admitted that he would have “preferred a different outcome” in the Brexit referendum.

Shortly after, during a visit to Ireland, he said: “As long-standing friends of the United Kingdom, the United States respects their decision.

“(It’s) “not how we would have preferred it to be, but (we) respect their position.”

He’s even gone as far as to say that the UK had “diminished” in US interests following the historic vote.

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