Relationship with US 'no longer special'

More than 60 years after Winston Churchill first coined the expression to describe Britain's alliance with the United States, MPs have called time on the "special relationship" and called for the UK to be "less deferential".

The cross-party Commons Foreign Affairs Committee said the well-worn phrase no longer accurately characterised the modern relationship between the two countries and should be dropped.

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While the committee stressed Britain remained close to America, it said it was important to recognise it was just one a series of relationships the US had with key partners and allies.

As the UK's influence in Washington diminished with the decline of its economic and military power, it said the Government should be "less deferential" towards the Americans and take a more realistic view of the relationship.

"The use of the phrase 'the special relationship' in its historical sense, to describe the totality of the ever-evolving UK-US relationship, is potentially misleading, and we recommend that its use should be avoided," the committee said.