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Analysis

Brexit = being bullied by Trump, China, even the EU

by Hugo Dixon | 04.06.2019

We’re currently one of the most powerful members of a gang which protects its members. If we quit the EU, bigger powers will tell us what to do. Donald Trump’s state visit rams this home – and we haven’t even left.

Look at the Huawei saga. First, Theresa May decided we may have to buy its telecoms kit despite concerns that China might then spy on us. The US president suggested on the eve of his visit that, if we do buy Huawei products, he won’t share some intelligence with us. He didn’t repeat that today, saying rather it wouldn’t be a problem because the US and UK would reach an agreement on what to do with Huawei.

We are at risk of being bullied first by Beijing and then by Trump. On the other hand, if we stay in the EU, we’ll be strong enough to decide whether to buy the kit on the basis of what’s in our interests.

The EU is the largest economic bloc in the world. It can’t be bullied on commercial matters. And its members can’t be bullied either – because it operates as a single force.

Don’t believe Trump’s hogwash today about how we can have a “very, very substantial trade deal” with America if we quit the EU. The only deal we may be able to do is one on his terms – probably importing chlorine-washed chicken and throwing open our health service to competition. Trump confirmed that the NHS would be “on the table” in trade talks.

What’s more, if we crash out of the EU without a deal, something Trump thinks we should threaten, we could undermine the peace process in Ireland and the US Congress would then refuse to ratify any trade pact with America. By contrast, if we stay in the EU, we will collectively have the clout to get a good deal with the US.

The EU is working increasingly closely on political matters too. It imposed sanctions on Russia after it annexed Crimea. No single country would have had the guts to stand up to Vladimir Putin; but as a bloc, the EU was courageous enough to do so.

If there were no bullies in the world – or if the World Trade Organisation could ensure fair play in trade and the United Nations could keep the peace – we wouldn’t need the EU. But we live in a dangerous world, and the WTO and UN are weak bodies, in part because Trump has been undermining them.

The EU is the strongest supranational organisation on the planet. It is built on values we share: freedom, the rule of law, democracy, equality, non-discrimination and respect for human rights. It also looks after its members.

You can see this with Brexit. How can Ireland, whose population is 5 million, stand up to the UK, its former imperial power which has a population of 66 million? Because the other 26 EU nations have a combined population of 440 million.

If we leave this bloc, we won’t just be bullied by Trump, China and Putin. We may end up being bullied by the EU too.

If we want to defend our values and interests – and stand tall in the world – the patriotic choice is to stop Brexit and stay in the EU.

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Edited by Luke Lythgoe

6 Responses to “Brexit = being bullied by Trump, China, even the EU”

  • in my opinion :

    from what the article says. it looks like US is trying to make EU into another middle east. divide and conquer. first make allies break apart, then make them fight among each other. or subdue one and use it as a pawn to cause trouble, if EU goes into chaos, US will come “peacekeeping” and pretty much take everything they see.

    similar to China issue, since Taiwan is merely a chess piece to break Asia starting from China. the Huawei incident and “deal of the century/amazing deal” might be just be an excuse to bring down China economy by smearing them. also been trying to make manufacturers leave China with tarrifs.

    The Chinese BRI is a very big “security threat” because Americans will have nothing to do with it, and they would fade off the world map. hence all the trouble etc. although there is a possibility that BRI is another method of eroding sovereignty, it still has nothing to do with the US since the person responsible for the land/sovereignty is not complaining. they are too in need for more trade etc to help their country since the Americans/anyone are not helping them at all. or purposely keeping them poor so they are kept in check.

    the island might be built to support the BRI from pirates or etc? might be part of BRI plan for ships in the area. i think they are just buying insurance for a successful BRI opening ceremony. many country claimed that its part of their sovereign but nobody did anything to it until china filled it up…. because the others were either too poor, or just want the land/sea for the crude? maybe i am shallow.

    but then again, Chinese are providing help to lift people out of poverty, Americans are providing war and dictatorship at the moment. when the person in-charge to counter terrorism turns into the terrorist them self, that is pretty much what we see now.

    imo, US is basically trying to force manufacturers to go into US so they will export more instead of importing therefor fixing the trade deficit. and creating “conflict” around the world. hopefully world leaders can have frequent conference to discuss what to do in a peaceful manner.

    forcing turkey etc to buy their F35 and patriot missles maybe a way to dispose old stuff and generate more money for new military funds, thats why US are showing a tantrum. japan played right into US hands. maybe due to having no choice? they will be used as pawns if things turn to the worse.

    for US to stay on top, other countries have to inflict self harm/be harmed or be a puppet of the Americans, regardless if allies or not. this has been the trend since war on terror started.

    most ASEAN countries are fed up with the US on quite a lot of things, problem is they have no choice but to “smile in front, mid finger behind” and submit, even if it means literally saying “my pants are down, lubed up and ready to go”.

    for the good of america, or make america great again is going to be something like “screw the world, what i see will be mine.” they want everyone else to be third world countries and they stand on top like Hitler.

    maybe the world should just drop USD and stay away from reliance to any country if possible and go back to the old days where people use gold and silver as trade currency for country to country trades, then nobody will have trade deficit. no money then dont buy.

    hope EU wont turn into the next Syria/Iraq/Iran etc. amen.

  • I am outraged that Trump has been allowed to express support for Brexit during a state visit. He has used the visit to further his own agenda in front of the media. The British right wing press has fed off his simple soundbites such as ‘Britain being free of the shackles of the EU’. Absolutely disgraceful that he stood in front of the lame duck PM and undiplomatically attacked Corbyn and others. Meanwhile, some of the Tory leadership candidates sat with smirking faces. And to make matters worse he is meeting Farage who is not even an MP. Who is making the agenda here? He has made a mockery of a ‘state visit’ and I presume it is all of us paying the bill.
    We still do not know the truth about the American election and now we have Trump openly interfering into our politics and telling us what we should do. A very, very dangerous man and a threat to world peace. He should never, ever have been invited.

  • William Taylor is absolutely right. Has there ever been a similar situation in British politics as that which we now have? Politics is in a turmoil and all the standards of behavior we have come to expect seem to have evaporated. In particular the behavior of the Conservative Party and its senior ministers competing with each other for the top place is a pitiable sight. An incompetent self-seeking lot.

  • The UK has lost all its self-respect – the grovelling & fawning behaviour (shame on the BBC & Sky) is worthy of a banana republic. The orange blob is not the UK’s friend – wake up!

  • To William, I do agree that foreign politicians should keep their noses out of our affairs! Unfortunately a precedent was set by Barack Obama (and later Hilary Clinton) prior to the 2016 referendum in threatening the British with a ‘back of the queue’ statement if we voted to leave. Surely meeting with the likes of Farage, Duncan-Smith etc is no different to the procession of ardent remainers (Clegg, Blair, Campbell, Clarke etc) that were given the red carpet treatment by Monsieur Barnier?
    Also I do not welcome the undiplomatic language meted out to the likes of Corbyn and Khan but unfortunately they are just as bad (in fact I think worse) with their childish insults and virtue signalling to what is the most powerful political position in the world.

  • It is tragic seeing the political establishment cosying up to Trump whilst downgrading our relationship with Europe. Alot of people seem to forget we are a European country, not a north American or mid Pacific one.
    The US see Brexit as a useful means to open up our markets to their trash. That is not just the agri industries with their questionable food safety and animal processing methods.
    Given the choice of purchasing a European or US manufacturing product, 9 times out of 10, I would choose the European product. The term ‘inbuilt obscelence’ was not by coincidence first associated with the manufacture of US motor cars. Sadly, the throw away economy has now spread worldwide, but generally European manufacturers have not fully discarded such traditional values as quality and durability.

    With Brexit, we will be exposed to US agri and industrial practices, which will no doubt influence our own producers’ standards. As consumers, our choice and access to European products will become more restricted and/or expensive.