Vice President’s Ceremonial Office
Eisenhower Executive Office Building
3:04 P.M. EDT
VICE PRESIDENT HARRIS: Greetings, everyone. Greetings. Good afternoon. Mr. Prime Minister, it is an honor to welcome you to the White House.
And as you will discuss with the President, the relationship between our two countries is a long and enduring one — one that we value — based on shared priorities and based on, as we know, what is increasingly evident about partnerships and alliances around the world: We are indeed interconnected and interdependent in so many ways, and in many ways more than ever before — be that as it relates to our shared priorities around how we will address global health, and not only about this COVID-19 pandemic, but pandemic preparedness — meaning, being prepared by working together, collaborating for what inevitably and sadly will be pandemics in the future.
The work we will do together around dealing with climate — I’m very excited for our discussion today.
PRIME MINISTER JOHNSON: Yeah.
VICE PRESIDENT HARRIS: I know that this is something that you care about deeply.
PRIME MINISTER JOHNSON: We do.
VICE PRESIDENT HARRIS: And it is something we, of course, care about. And in order to actually address the world’s issues in that regard, we must collaborate and partner. And we’re looking forward to that.
And, of course, we must work and continue to work together to uphold and protect democratic principles and values around the globe. And we look forward to that continuing relationship and our relationship in the transatlantic as partners, longstanding and well into the future.
So welcome again, Mr. Prime Minister.
PRIME MINISTER JOHNSON: Thank you. We’re very grateful, Madam Vice President. It’s a great honor and privilege for me to be here to meet you for the first time. I’ve heard a lot about you, but it’s fantastic to be here.
And I want to thank the — the U.S. government — your government — for many ways in which we are cooperating now at, I think, a higher and more intense level than at any time I can remember.
I want to — I want to single out the amazing work, the brave work of the U.S. military in helping the Kabul airlift. We could not have done that without U.S. leadership, and I’m grateful for that.
I want to thank also the U.S. government for what they’ve done — what you’ve done in allowing us Brits to come to — to the United States with two — with two jabs. That’s great. That’s a great improvement on the previous arrangements. And thank you for all your hard work on that.
VICE PRESIDENT HARRIS: Thank you.
PRIME MINISTER JOHNSON: I’d also — I’d like to say that — I think on trade, we’re seeing a great deal of progress. The ban on beef — your curious ban on British beef has been removed, which is a wonderful thing, and — as well as the tariffs on Scotch whiskey. But — and there’s a great deal of progress we want to make in that, and that I hope that we can make.
But I just want to say, Madam Vice President, Kamala, on climate change —
VICE PRESIDENT HARRIS: Yes.
PRIME MINISTER JOHNSON: — I think that today was a — was a really good day —
VICE PRESIDENT HARRIS: Yes, it was.
PRIME MINISTER JOHNSON: — for the world. And I thank the U.S. government for the — and President Joe Biden for the steps you’ve taken to reassure the world that America is committed to helping the world to tackle climate change.
And on your last point, we certainly stand shoulder-to-shoulder with you in sticking up for democratic values in the — in the Euro-Atlantic area and around the world.
VICE PRESIDENT HARRIS: Thank you, Mr. Prime Minister.
PRIME MINISTER JOHNSON: Thank you very much. Thank you.
VICE PRESIDENT HARRIS: Thank you. Thank you all.
3:08 P.M. EDT