Sign up to the Inside Politics email for your free daily briefing on the biggest stories in UK politics
Get our free Inside Politics email
Rishi Sunak and Joe Biden have forged a new partnership aimed at reducing international dependence on Russian exports, as the US pledges to double the amount of gas supplied to the UK.
The Prime Minister and President agreed to form a special bilateral group led by top 10 and White House officials to work together on energy security and affordability.
Washington will aim to export at least nine to 10 billion cubic meters of liquefied natural gas to Britain’s terminals next year as part of the deal, more than doubling exports in 2021.
Mr Sunak welcomed the new partnership, arguing it would help lower gas and electricity prices for Britons struggling with rising energy bills.
The Prime Minister said: “Together the UK and the US will ensure global energy prices and the security of our national supply can never again be manipulated by the whims of failed regimes.”
He added: “This partnership will bring down prices for British consumers and help end Europe’s dependence on Russian energy once and for all.”
It follows the G7 agreement on fixing the price of Russian oil, as the West tries to limit Moscow’s ability to finance the ongoing war against Ukraine.
It allows Russian oil to be shipped to third-party countries using G7 and EU tankers, insurance companies and credit institutions if it is within price limits.
Citing the war in Ukraine, the prime minister and president said in their joint statement that it was “more important than ever” for allies to work together to build a “resilient international system”.
The US-UK initiative has an “immediate goal” of stabilizing energy markets around the world, while seeking to build support to accelerate the transition to renewable energy.
This includes promoting nuclear power as a “safe” and “reliable” part of the transition, as well as driving international investment in clean hydrogen power, offshore wind and carbon capture.
The first meeting of the partnership’s joint action group is expected to take place on Thursday, but Mr. Sunak and Mr. Biden are not expected to attend.
It comes as Britain’s trade minister Greg Hands embarks on a US visit to boost trade ties with the kingdom after Brexit.
Mr Hands will sign the UK’s third state-level “memorandum of understanding” with South Carolina, after reaching agreements with Indiana and North Carolina earlier this year.
Although the government says it will create new opportunities for British businesses, the deals are far less ambitious than the transatlantic free trade deal that has been cited by Brexiteers as a major benefit of leaving the EU.
Mr Biden has previously expressed unease over the UK’s ongoing standoff with the European Union over the Northern Ireland Protocol, and the prospect of a trade deal did not come up in one-on-one talks with Mr Sunak at the G20 summit in Bali last month.