Brexit Britain seeks to plug future European hole with closer U.S. ties
Post-Brexit Britain will attempt to use an American bandage to dress the future wound to the UK’s Euro-centric economic and political relations.
Historians love to use phrases such as pre-war and post war when constructing convenient timelines. It remains to be seen whether Britain’s departure from the EU will provide a similar historiographical watershed when future academics observe the impact of Brexit on Britain’s micro and macro-political modus operandi.
Despite May’s repeated pledges to keep relations between Britain and the continent as close as ever, there will be an inevitable and prevailing sense of uneasy distrust between the EU and their island neighbour. This is already being combated with an attempted intensification of already gussied Anglo-American co-operation.
The diplomatic rhetoric and interwoven military intelligence surrounding the so-called special relationship has resulted in Britain and the U.S. becoming the Shaggy and Scooby of world affairs. Although not on the same equal footing as these two cartoon heroes, the inevitable economic shock of Brexit – in whatever form it takes – will soon result in the UK taking on the role of a startled Scooby-Doo jumping into the arms of their best friend.
British economic and geo-political interests in regards to the intensification of events in the gulf, the recent escalation of endeavours to confirm an Anglo-American trade deal, the full frontal pomp and flattery of June’s state visit recently given to the entire Trump family, and the shameful treatment of Sir Kim Darroch by his own future PM all point towards this increased pandering to Washington already occurring.
Two British warships have been sent to the Gulf due to an innate obligation to assist the Whitehouse and to protect British shipping from Iranian gunboats as tensions rise between the west and Iran. Tehran’s ambitions to become a global nuclear power, as well as the dominant power in a brewing Cold War in the Middle East, have been exacerbated by the U.S. president’s blunt, jingoistic tendencies and America’s withdrawal from the nuclear deal in 2016.
Britain has now been dragged into this diplomatic, and potentially violent, kerfuffle, leading to an Iranian cleric stating during prayers that Britain will be ‘slapped in the face’ after seizing an Iranian owned oil tanker off the coast of Gibraltar. Iran has claimed that this was at the behest of the US and has warned against Britain getting involved in this ‘dangerous game’ under ‘American influence’. The U.S. has indeed been aiming to build a naval coalition to guard against Tehran’s geo-political ambitions.
Britain is certainly not in any way ready to undertake military operations if these tensions develop into something more sincere in the near future. Jeremy Hunt has used events in the Gulf as a reason to suggest increased military spending, but this is one of many monumental spending pledges made my Tory the leadership candidates at the worst possible time.
Brexit uncertainly has seen investment and growth stunted, and the Bank of England has warned of a potential recession in the event of a No Deal Brexit. An American trade deal is seen by many as a way to limit the flow of potential economic losses. Negotiations would most likely include sectors of the NHS, and wounds to British pride, prestige and monetary powers will most likely grease the country’s grip on this most treasured national institution.
The NHS was a contentious referendum issue, as was the subject of supposedly regaining sovereignty. Johnson’s avoidance of saying anything profound on the future of Sir Kim Darroch during Tuesday’s leadership debate and overall unwillingness to support Britain’s US representative suggests that this will not exactly come into fruition.
Instead, it displays the next PM’s intention to not offend the juvenile U.S. president in an effort to gain prestige for himself and minimise political and economic ill effects of potential Anglo-American disagreements. He effectively sacrificed Darroch in order to give a potential Johnson-Trump bromance a satisfactory start after only coming to the ex-ambassador’s defence after his resignation.
There has since been outcry against this behaviour from the public and MPs alike. Sir Alan Duncan has denounced the future PM by suggesting that he threw Darroch under the bus – not one of his now famous homemade cardboard ones – and even Theresa May launched a cloaked attack, stating that she hoped colleagues would “reflect on the importance of defending our values and principles”.
Johnson sees his ascendancy to the Prime Ministership as some sort of Churchillian destiny. He will not want to compromise his opportunity at historical infamy with silly things like taking the side of his countrymen rather than the POTUS, and there will indeed be the frequent deployment of even more dodgy, Machiavellian decisions and sentences. Of which, we have already had a taste.
He will revel in his time at the dispatch box during PMQs, and will no doubt sprinkle his trademark but unnecessary Latin and Greco-Roman comparisons into some grand utterances. They may sound impressive and provide the Tory members who voted for him with the breath of nostalgia they severely crave, but the parliamentary arithmetic and ill effects of Brexit will facilitate the continuity of the contentious, tricky, embarrassing, and chaotic national political environment which we have all just about become accustomed to in recent times.
Closer still ties with a suspected second Trump administration are being perceived to be an obvious partial cure for this quagmire.