UK-US Special Relationship & The YLUK Program

Published on 2019-09-03



The United States and The United Kingdom are similar in a number of ways. Not only are languages and religions alike, but London and New York City are two of the most popular metropolises in the world, bearing a comparable big city vibe.

The relationship between the US and the UK doesn’t stop there. These countries have a long history together and continue to keep close ties to this day through official US and UK relations.

This article will take you beyond cultural similarities and highlight some things you need to know about UK and US relations.

The Relationship Between the United Kingdom and the United States

The United States and United Kingdom relationship is a longstanding one; so much so, that the term “Special Relationship” usually relates specifically to the connection between the two countries.

This term didn’t come into popularity until the early 1940s though, so when did relations between the US and UK begin?

The History of US and UK Relations

The kinship between the US and the UK goes back almost two hundred years. The United States declared independence from Great Britain in 1776 after the British settled in Virginia in 1607.

The relationship between the US and the UK was severed during the American Revolution in 1775 and again during the War of 1812.

Since then, the two countries have allied together in following wars including World War I, World War II, and the Cold War. Later, the United Kingdom would also back the United States on the Iraq War.

Embassies and Presence

Both countries have official embassies located in each country’s capital. The United States stood in Grosvenor Square from 1938 to 1960 making the area known as “Little America” while the embassy stood at 1 and 24 Grosvenor Square.

Fast-forward to 2018 and the US Embassy in the United Kingdom has moved to a new modern location in the Nine Elms district of London. The American Embassy here is closer to government buildings and makes the US a solid part of one of London’s newer neighbourhoods.

The British Embassy in America is similar, standing in America’s capital of Washington. DC. The British Embassy in sits conveniently near the United States White House to help maintain the special relationship between the two countries.

Economic Relations

The United States and the United Kingdom are also major trading partners. The UK is one of the largest markets for exports into the US as well as one of the largest supplier of US imports.

The UK also brings a huge influx of tourism into the United States with over 4 million British travellers visiting the country every year. Since the UK-US relations extend to a Visa Waiver Program, British nationals can travel to the US for stays of up to 90 days without a visa, making a trip to America a favourable option.

International Organizations

US-UK relations extend to a number of international organizations and agreements as well.

International agreements and policies that involve both the United States and the United Kingdom include the United Nations, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), G8, G20, World Bank, and other international connections.


The Young Leaders UK Program (YLUK)

The Young Leaders UK program (YLUK) is just one example of how these two countries stay tied together.

While the US and the UK both have political leaders that are involved in international organizations like the United Nations and the G20, this program focuses more on the country’s younger influencers.

What does it involve, and how can residents be a part of it? Read on to learn about the Young Leaders UK program.

What is Young Leader UK?

The Young Leaders UK or YLUK is a program designed for young, up-and-coming British leaders between the ages of 18 and 25 who are interested in politics and relations between the United Kingdom and the United States.

This program is in place to connect young residents of the UK to the United States and fellow Americans through the United States Embassy.

YLUK helps young leaders by putting together special opportunities for them to be exposed to like-minded individuals and influencers. This includes meeting with senior political members in both the United States and the United Kingdom.

Members of YLUK will also have the chance of attending several events hosted by the US Embassy and be especially involved in major affairs like elections, guest speakers, and national holidays.

Basically, the Young Leaders UK program allows young residents interested in leadership and politics to get a feel for a different political environment. This helps to learn more about how other governments are run and how the UK and US play an important role with each other.

What Does the YLUK Program Include?

In addition to being involved in important events, those in the Young Leaders UK Program will be put right into the political action. YLUK has workshops and classes led by US diplomats and important political figures available to members of the program.

In addition, YLUK will give members access to a slew of important information, events, articles and ways young leaders can get more involved while abroad.

How to Be a Part of YLUK

While Young Leaders UK started out as a small program, now thousands of applicants apply each year to be a part of it all. Those interested in joining the program can register online through the US Embassy and Consulates in the United Kingdom. Applicants will be required to fill out a questionnaire with information including age, residence, and topics of interests before moving forward.

This program is a great way to get directly involved in the US and UK relations, but there are several other ways interested individuals can get involved. The US Embassy and Consulates in the United Kingdom list several other areas of interests, which includes NASA, The White House, The US Embassy, and study-abroad programs. These will also give those interested in YLUK a better understanding of the United States and their relationship to the United Kingdom.


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