UK-US Partnership Will Be 'Envy Of The World', Says Ambassador

The US ambassador to the UK says the relationship between the two nations will be the "envy of the world".

In an interview with Forces News, Woody Johnson also praised the role the UK has played in developing the F-35B stealth fighter.

"This a vehicle that you can keep adding parts to, and modernising and evolving over time."

American F-35B aircraft, flown by British pilots, are due to begin flight trials from British warship HMS Queen Elizabeth in the coming days.

US F-35B lands on USS Wasp
UK F-35B jets will soon be following the US by performing landing trials on carriers (Picture: US Department of Defense).

The UK's aircraft carrier is currently deployed in waters off the US east coast.

Mr Johnson said the relationship allowed the two countries to "keep ahead of the bad guys". He said:

"I think the partnership that we have will be the envy of the world."

International threats and military veterans were also discussed by Mr Johnson during the interview.

In the area of defence spending, Mr Johnson said one of his missions as ambassador was to promote security and prosperity.

Previously President Trump has criticised allies that have failed to spend the NATO minimum of 2% of annual income (GDP) on defence budgets.

Mr Johnson warned there was "reason to be prepared" and said: "You can underestimate it when the world seems safe now.

"Nothing really happens positively in the world if you can't defend yourself."

Woody Johnson May 2018
Mr Johnson urged the UK to increase defence spending earlier this year (Picture: PA).

Mr Johnson said caring for veterans was a key point in Donald Trump's campaign for the presidency and now that he's in office, Mr Trump wants support for US veterans to be "more effective".

The ambassador said: "This is a big, big issue for us and I know it's important over here."

He added: "You probably never do enough.

"Can we do better? Absolutely. And we're always pushing to do a better job in every way."

Charlie Company 40 Commando Royal Marines Exercise Joint Warrior 2018
Royal Marines during Exercise Joint Warror, which also included the US and other nations (Picture: Crown Copyright).

Mr Johnson said more needs to be done to encourage business to consider hiring veterans: "I know there's a lot of American companies that are having amazing success by hiring these people."

Mr Johnson also said one of his main messages is the importance of the security links between the US and Britain. 

He pointed to examples of the two nations working together in areas such as cyber activity and joint military training and how this cooperation can help their forces should the need for combat arise.

"By practising a lot we know what other is going to do and that makes us a lot stronger."

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