Boris must take stock of Biden’s victory – the UK cannot be left behind, warns MP

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Mr Biden is closing in on the White House, holding leads in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Nevada and Arizona, and could be confirmed as the winner by the end of the weekend. If he is, Mr Ellwood, who is the chairman of the Defence Select Committee, said it was imperative the UK focused on developing its international profile rather than fixating on Brexit.

Writing in the Telegraph, Mr Ellwood recalled meeting Mr Biden during the former vice-president’s trip to the UK in 2018.

He explained: “I hosted a parliamentary reception championing Anglo-American efforts to support veterans’ mental health.

“My special guest had retired from mainstream politics but delivered a thumper of a speech, the calibre of which I hadn’t witnessed in a while.

“With the Democrats searching for a suitable candidate to take on Donald Trump, I later jested that he might consider standing as a Democrat nominee in 2020

“Joe Biden smiled. Perhaps he was banking on a young Turk breaking ahead from the younger generation of talent.

“However, none did. And now the jigsaw is complete enough to safely predict that Biden will be the 46th president of the United States.”

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Mr Ellwood, who is a member of Parliament’s China Research Group said the shift had major implications for the United Kingdom.

He explained: “Expect Biden to be far less risk-averse than Obama – not least on China.

“To Trump’s credit, the world is recalibrating its view on what China is up to, and not a moment too soon.

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“However, Trump’s response was just confrontational – with no collective strategy to contain arguably the biggest geo-political threat we now face.

“Biden recognises that the West must advance a counterweight to curtail China from extending its authoritarian influence and ensnaring ever more countries into its infrastructure, technology and military programmes.

“Biden’s policy approach to Nato, climate change, a resurgent Russia and counter-terrorism, chimes very much with ours.

But he warned: “Other allies are vying for favoured-nation status too.

“And we must concede that Britain, perhaps distracted by Brexit, has also retreated from global exposure. Our hard and soft power capabilities need upgrading.”

The delay to the completion of the integrated defence review “does not sent the best signal” to the UK’s closest ally when it came to Britain’s willingness to “re-engage on the world stage”, Mr Ellwood said.

He added: “Nor do suggestions that Britain might deliberately breach international law.

“Biden’s support for alliances extends to the EU, so failure to secure a deal with Brussels will not help our cause.”

The United States had always valued Britain’s understanding of the challenges the world faces, along with its resourcefulness in coming up with alternative solutions, Mr Ellwood stressed.

He said: “As Biden begins to build the alliances to move Western foreign policy positions from the tactical and reactionary to strategic, Whitehall must expand its bandwidth to rekindle these strengths.

“No one country alone can solve the gathering global challenges we face, but the US will soon embark on a fundamental and ambitious foreign policy overhaul not seen since Bretton Woods.

“It would be a failure of UK statecraft if we were not in the room.”

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