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Analysis

Trump is right: May’s Brexit probably kills US trade deal

by Sam Ashworth-Hayes | 13.07.2018

When Barack Obama said in the referendum that a vote to leave would put us “at the back of the queue” for a US trade deal, Brexiters screamed “Project Fear”. Now the American president they adore is saying the prime minister’s Brexit proposal will probably “kill” a trade deal. Donald Trump added that America would be “dealing with the European Union instead of dealing with the UK”, in an extraordinary interview with the Sun. We wouldn’t even be in the queue, let alone at the back of it.

Trump also did a pretty good job of ripping apart the “special relationship” between America and the UK. He backed Boris Johnson for prime minister, said the prime minister didn’t listen to him when he “told her” how to negotiate with the EU, suggested she had betrayed Brexit and laid into the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, saying he had “done a very bad job on terrorism”. All this while he was visiting the UK at May’s invitation.

The prime minister was always unwise to try to suck up to Trump by offering him a state visit, now downgraded to a working one. Her sycophancy has now turned into a diplomatic disaster that is damaging our national interests. And yet Brexiters such as Nigel Farage are cock-a-hoop about the whole thing. Don’t they understand what it means to be patriotic?

The whole sorry episode also underlines the folly of chasing the fantasy of a US trade deal while risking every single one of our existing trade deals – not least with our European friends and allies.

Is it really worth burning our bridges with Europe to suck up to a racist, sexist bigot who is undermining Nato and who is far too soft on Russia’s Vladimir Putin?

Edited by Hugo Dixon

3 Responses to “Trump is right: May’s Brexit probably kills US trade deal”

  • Trump will only be with us for another 26 months – no way he’s going to get a second term. Trade deals take years and years to negotiate and a lot can happen in the meantime. And what right does he have to tell us what to do ????????????????????????????????

  • Agree with previous opinion. And anyway do we really want chlorinated chickens?The only way to trade with Trump’s America is on your knees.
    May’s plan sounds like a reasonable way forward given that the country is so divided on the issue.

  • After both Theresa May and Donald Trump leaders are no longer in office, it would be down to the next leaders of the UK and the US to renegotiate or change the course of negotiation where Washington would no longer make demands on our domestic policies or force us to accept products with lower standard than what we currently enjoy. It’s likely that the next generation will be pro Europe and Britain could rejoin EFTA or the EU.