Biden says special relationship is in ‘good shape’ as he meets Rishi Sunak at White House to forge ‘economic alliance’

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 08: U.S. President Joe Biden (R) shakes hands with Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Rishi Sunak in the Oval Office at the White House on June 08, 2023 in Washington, DC. Sunak, on his first visit to the United States since taking office, met with Biden to discuss the Russia-Ukraine war and strengthening their economic partnership. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

PRESIDENT Joe Biden confirmed the special relationship between the US and UK is in “real good shape” as he shook hands with Rishi Sunak in the oval office this evening.

Inside the iconic White House, the President and PM are meeting for crunch talks on a new economic alliance.

Rishi Sunak and Joe Biden shake hands in the Oval Office

The pair will discuss forging a new economic alliance

Rishi Sunak arrived at the White House this afternoon

HOAR’s Political Editor Harry Cole was at the White House to watch the PM arrive

Despite it being Mr Sunak’s first visit to the White House, Mr Biden greeted him with “Welcome back Mr President.”

But he corrected himself, joking “I promoted you there.”

The President then recalled a former PM visiting the White House and wandering around naked.

Mr Sunak cheekily replied: “You don’t have to worry about that with me.”

The PM mentioned “the strength of our partnership, our friendship”.

“We will put our values front and centre as we’ve always done,” he said.

At around 6.45pm a press conference will be held, with the outcome of the talks being announced.

The PM has been in Washington DC for the past two days.

It’s his first time visiting the US capital as premier.

This morning Mr Sunak visited a DC school, where he watched kids make 3D chess sets and helped conduct a science experiment.

Mr Sunak watched a drone being flown, planted jalapeño seeds and helped with a science experiment.

He also attended a Major League Baseball game.

The Washington Nationals took on the Arizona Diamondbacks as part of US-UK Friendship Day, celebrating relations between the two countries.

Earlier today Mr Sunak argued the UK and US haven’t signed a post-Brexit free trade agreement because of the pandemic and war in Ukraine.

Quizzed in Washington DC why trade talks with the Joe Biden White House have been iced, the PM said the economic situation had changed in recent years.

But the PM refused to accept the Government’s failure to strike a free trade accord with the US amounted to a “broken promise” – despite such a deal being pledged in the Tory election manifesto.

But Joe Biden had frozen negotiations long before Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine.

The PM told reporters on his trip to the US: “Since then we’ve had a pandemic, we’ve had a war in Ukraine, and that has changed the macroeconomic situation.

“The right response to that is ensure that we’re focusing our engagement economically on the things that will make the most difference.”