The House of Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee said Britain should be “more willing to say no” to the United States and warned that London will probably not be able to influence Washington as much in future.
“The UK must continue to position itself closely alongside the US but there is a need to be less deferential and more willing to say no where our interests diverge,” the committee chairman, Labour’s Mike Gapes, said, summing up the report.
He added that the phrase “special relationship” — first coined by Winston Churchill in 1946, the year after World War II — was “potentially misleading, and we recommend that its use should be avoided”.
“British and European politicians have been guilty of over-optimism about the extent of influence they have over the US,” he said.
“The perception that the British government was a subservient ‘poodle’ to the US administration leading up to the period of the invasion of Iraq and its aftermath is widespread both among the British public and overseas,” it said.
“This perception, whatever its relation to reality, is deeply damaging to the reputation and interests of the UK.”
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