Rishi Sunak proclaimed a new post-Brexit approach to global affairs by unveiling what he called a unique economic partnership with the United States.
But there was still no sign of the free trade deal with America that former Tory prime ministers have sought and which No 10 admits is currently off the table.
Asked if the new deal represented a failure, Mr Sunak insisted it would bring “the most benefits to our citizens as quickly as possible”.
In a joint press conference with President Biden to mark the end of his trip to Washington, Mr Sunak also suggested that Brexit would allow the UK to react differently to the threat posed by artificial intelligence (AI ).
Acknowledging the problems Britain’s departure from the European Union has caused on the world stage, he said: “I know some people have wondered what kind of partner Britain would be after we left the EU. EU. I would say: judge us by our actions. We are more committed to our values than ever, an ally as reliable as ever, an investment destination as attractive as ever.
But he added that the UK was also “changing”, “strengthening” its relationship with old friends like America and with new friends in the Indo-Pacific as well.
“And we now have the freedom to regulate new technologies that will shape our economic future – like AI – faster and more flexibly. This is the future we are creating in Britain – confident, proud and free.’
In a victory for the Prime Minister, Mr Biden also said the US was looking to the UK to lead AI.
The press conference itself was delayed as talks between the two leaders started late and continued longer than expected.
The Atlantic Declaration is designed to strengthen economic security in response to China’s growing influence.
It includes commitments to ease trade barriers, closer ties with the defense industry and a data protection agreement.
But hopes for a full-fledged free trade deal have been dashed by Downing Street.
The deal alleviates some of the problems created for the UK economy by Mr Biden’s multi-billion dollar green energy deal, known as the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).
The law provides an incentive of $3,750 (£2,986) for each electric vehicle, provided that the critical minerals used in its production – mainly in the battery – come from the United States or a country with which the United States United have an agreement on critical minerals.
The new deal includes proposals for a critical minerals deal with the UK.
It could help businesses across Britain, including businesses producing nickel in Wales and dealing with lithium in Teesside.
As part of the deal, efforts will also be increased to exclude Russia from the global nuclear market.
There will also be push for mutual recognition of engineers’ qualifications, although this may require state-by-state approval in the United States.
A data protection agreement will ease the burdens on small businesses trading across the Atlantic, which could save £92million.
There will also be collaboration on key industries such as AI, 5G and 6G telecommunications, quantum computing, semiconductors and engineering biology.
Meeting Mr Sunak in the Oval Office, Mr Biden – who inadvertently referred to the prime minister as “Mr. President” – said the special relationship was in “very good shape”. He later praised Defense Secretary Ben Wallace as ‘highly qualified’ for the post of NATO Secretary General, although he added ‘maybe’ when asked s he had to get the job.
Ahead of their meeting, Mr Sunak announced that the UK will host the first global AI security summit this autumn.
The meeting will discuss the need for coordinated international action to mitigate the risks of emerging technology.