Donald Trump and the US-UK special relationship

FT’s chief foreign affairs commentator Gideon Rachman and US national editor Edward Luce give their views on the president’s first state visit to Britain. The special relationship is under pressure from Brexit, the China trade war and unilateralism

The fact that a statue of abraham lincoln president of the united states and founder the republican party stands here in parliament square in london is a testament to the closeness of the special relationship between the united states and the united kingdom but the current president of the united states donald trump is actually very unpopular according to opinion

Polls here in britain and there are likely to be large anti trump demonstrations in london when the president visits the timing of trumps state visit to britain is particularly ironic and accidental three years ago during his campaign when brexit happened trump immediately dubbed himself mr. brexit and trump political circles see the brexit referendum as a kind

Of forerunner of trumps election later that year in 2016 so brexit is something very close to trump’s a vision of himself and he’s lost no opportunity during teresa mays prime ministership to undercut her as having betrayed the values of the brexit referendum trade the main resignation this conservative leader has added an extra layer of peculiarities to this

Visit by mr. trump because in just a few weeks time the prime minister will be leaving this building 10 downing street for the last time so she has almost no authority and that will make any diplomatic discussions with the united states president basically pointless mrs. may may also struggle to summon up the warm smiles that are meant to be there a girl on

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These kinds of occasions he’s also lost no opportunity to boost the chances of boris johnson when he was last in britain not for a state visit about a year ago he said boris would make a great prime minister and teresa mays deal a would foreclose any any prospects of a us uk and trade deal he’s other great friend and ally in british politics is nigel faraj who

Is often to be found dining with trump or trump acolytes at the trump hotel and the old post office just a few blocks from from the white house faraj is a great rival of boris johnson so how trump parcels out his praise and commendations between johnson and faraj is going to be another wheel within a wheel that could be of great interest on this on this state

Visit although friendly relations have been maintained on the surface the trump administration has actually been a period of great strain in the us uk special relationship and that’s because the trump administration’s america-first policies have questioned the underpinning of the world order particularly on multilateralism and opened up a range of divisions with

Britain on questions such as the paris climate accord the iran nuclear accord and the middle east peace process collectively there’s a broader disagreement about the role of international law and multilateral organizations that’s the high politics and intrigue of trump’s visit but there is also the visuals something that matters hugely to trump how he’s treated

What kind of sarah me is going to be surrounding his visit how many people get invited to the state banquet was it more than the last president to be given a state dinner barack obama does he get more cannon salutes the sort of dignified side of this visit and the televisual element to it is something of huge importance to trump and always has been the biggest

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Emerging division between the u.s. and the uk however concerns relations with china the british are still dreaming of a golden era and chinese uk economic relations after breakfast but the americans are moving swiftly towards an all engaging trade war with the chinese and they’re putting pressure on britain over relations with the chinese telecoms firm faraway

Americas effectively imposed a boycott on huawei the british by contrast are still talking of allowing huawei to participates in the creation of a 5g network in british and the americans are hinting that that poses an unacceptable risk because the us and the uk are very close partners on intelligence sharing so potentially in china could get in the way of the

Special relationship between the united states and the united kingdom which is bringing all of his grown-up children the only one left behind is baron of 13 year old son but all the others donald jr a banker eric and tiffany are going to be coming along with him he’s going to be rubbing shoulders with the likes of prince william and harry demarco who although

I don’t know her political views i can imagine is not trump’s biggest fan so that side of trumps visit just the scope for tabloid stories and trump’s great obsession with visuals and with how well he’s being treated and hosted and how many gun salutes he gets that side of it should not be overlooked because trump himself will probably care as much if not more

About that than the brexit high politics the last big question is how britain’s current political turmoil will affect the special relationship if as currently seems likely the next prime minister britain is either boris johnson or another tory who pursues a hard no deal brexit with the eu then britain will have a rupture with the european union and will probably

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Then pursue a free trade agreement with the united states with even more urgency and that would lead to a much closer alignment between the trump administration and a hard brexit tory government however it’s also possible thinking a bit further ahead that there would then be a general election which could lead to jeremy corbyn the labour leader becoming prime

Minister he’s long been very hostile to american foreign policy and a corbin led british government would suddenly bring into question many of the subjects that are right at the heart of the special relationship such as cooperation on nuclear weapons cooperation on intelligence sharing even british membership of nato and that could spell the death knell to the

Special relationship

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Donald Trump and the US-UK special relationship By Financial Times

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