Boris Johnson ‘CANCELS trip to US to see Donald Trump’ saying he is too BUSY amid transatlantic tensions over Huawei and death of British teen Harry Dunn that risk delaying a post-Brexit trade deal
- Prime Minister said to have originally planned to visit in January or February
- But the two men will not meet face-to-face until a G7 summit in June
- Nations at loggerheads over issues including Huawei and Harry Dunn’s death
Boris Johnson has called off plans for a spring visit to the United States to see Donald Trump amid ongoing transatlantic tensions that threatens to overshadow trade talks, it was reported today.
The Prime Minister is said to have originally planned to visit Washington last month following his election victory, before moving the trip to February.
But now the plans for a visit are said to have been shelved and the two men will not meet face-to-face until a G7 summit at Camp David in Maryland in June.
Washington and London are at loggerheads over issues including Mr Johnson’s decision to allow Chinese tech giant Huawei to have a role in the UK’s 5G phone network.
They have also clashed over Washington’s refusal to extradite Anne Sacoolas, the alleged CIA agent accused of killing British teenager Harry Dunn in a Northamptonshire road accident.
Although the cancellation was not intended as a snub to the US president, it may be seen that way in Washington ahead of trade deal talks both sides want to complete as soon as possibly.
The Prime Minister (today in Downing Street) is said to have originally planned to visit Washington last month following his election victory, before moving the trip to February
But now the plans for a visit are said to have been shelved and the two men will not meet face-to-face until a G7 summit at Camp David in Maryland in June
No 10 insists that Mr Johnson cancelled the trip to concentrate on domestic politics and his new team of ministers.
A source referenced the all-seeing evil intelligence in the Lord of the Rongs trilogy, telling the Sun: ‘When the Eye of Sauron is off the Whitehall machine, things stop working.
‘That is why he has stripped down all his foreign travel this year to get his agenda done.’
Last week it was claimed Mr Johnson endured a phone call with an ‘apoplectic’ Donald Trump following the decision to approve a deal with Huawei.
The Prime Minister spoke to the US President last week soon after he announced that the Chinese manufacturer would be allowed to work on the UK’s next-generation 5G mobile phone network – despite strong opposition from the US.
A source briefed on the phone call told the Financial Times that Mr Trump was ‘apoplectic’ with Mr Johnson. A second official confirmed the call between the pair was ‘very difficult’.
Last night US prosecutors accused Huawei of stealing trade secrets and helping Iran track protesters in its latest indictment against the Chinese company, escalating Washington’s battle with the world’s largest telecommunications equipment maker.
In the indictment, Huawei Technologies Co was charged with conspiring to steal trade secrets from six US technology companies and to violate a racketeering law typically used to combat organized crime.
It also contains new allegations about the company’s involvement in countries subject to sanctions. Among other accusations, it says Huawei installed surveillance equipment in Iran that was used to monitor, identify, and detain protesters during the 2009 anti-government demonstrations in Tehran.
The United States has been waging a campaign against Huawei, which it has warned could spy on customers for Beijing. Washington placed the company on a trade blacklist last year, citing national security concerns.
Harry Dunn, 19, was killed when his motorbike crashed into a car outside a US military base in the UK in August last year
Boris Johnson again stood up to Washington on Wednesday by claiming the UK’s extradition arrangements with the US are ‘imbalanced’ and suggesting they need to be reviewed.
But the Prime Minister insisted his treaty concerns had nothing to do with a growing Transatlantic clash over UK demands for the extradition of Harry Dunn’s alleged killer, Anne Sacoolas.
It came as the slain Briton’s family accused the Foreign Office (FCO) of being ‘engaged in a cover-up’ over the teenage motorcyclist’s death.
The FCO has said it has ‘no plans’ to launch a public inquiry despite reports that Ms Sacoolas had worked as a spy for the CIA.
Nineteen-year-old Mr Dunn was killed when his motorbike crashed into a car outside a US military base in Northamptonshire on August 27 last year.
Ms Sacoolas, 42, the wife of a US intelligence official based at RAF Croughton, was granted diplomatic immunity following the crash and was able to return to her home country, sparking an international controversy.
She was charged with causing Mr Dunn’s death by dangerous driving in December.
But US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo rejected an extradition request from the UK for her last month.