Friday

18th Jan 2019

Trump to model UK relations on Reagan-Thatcher

  • US president-elect has closer relationships with Nigel Farage than any other British politician and called himself Mr Brexit after the UK voted to leave the EU. (Photo: Jeso Carneiro)

Donald Trump called the UK a "very, very special place” during a phone conversation with British prime minister Theresa May on Thursday (10 November) and invited her to visit the White House ”as soon as possible”.

The US president-elect, whose mother was Scottish, said he would like to revive the special relationship between Britain and America that marked the Ronald Reagan - Margaret Thatcher relationship of the 1980s.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

Downing Street said May congratulated Trump on his win and highlighted her wish to strengthen bilateral trade and investment with the US after Brexit.

”But she said that our relationship is so much more than that and our two countries have always stood together as close allies when it counts the most,” the prime minister’s office added.

UK foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, meanwhile, urged Trump critics to stop the "whinge-o-rama" and be "positive about the possibilities”.

Trump’s election has, for instance, boosted British hopes of a quick free-trade deal with the US.

Outgoing US president Barack Obama had said the UK would go to the ”back of the queue” in free-trade negotiations, giving priority to EU trade talks.

But Trump vehemently opposed the EU-US free-trade pact TTIP in his campaign, a pact whose future now looks increasingly bleak.

Still, it doesn’t mean that a UK-US deal will be easy.

The president-elect has insinuated he would only sign an agreement that is heavily skewed to the benefit of the US.

And for all the good cheers and ”special relationship” talk, May was only the ninth head of state Trump called up.

According to British daily Telegraph, the UK government, lacking contacts with the Trump camp, could rely on the UK Independence Party (Ukip) leader Nigel Farage as its ”go between” man .

Before her appointment, May spoke of Trump in critical terms, even if she later refused to endorse either of the candidates.

Farage, on the other hand, is the British politician with the closest ties to Trump. He worked as his consultant during the campaign, including speaking at a rally.

After the UK voted to leave the EU, Trump declared himself ”Mr Brexit” on Twitter.

Farage already declared his willingness to help the British government and asked Trump not to grope May.

”Come and schmooze Theresa – don’t touch her, for goodness’ sake,” Farage joked in an interview with Talksport Radio on Thursday.

He offered to partake in their meetings and fend off sexual assaults if needed.

“I could be there as the responsible adult role, to make sure everything’s OK,” he said.

TTIP's future in Trump's hands

EU commissioners admit they "frankly don't know" what the US president-elect intends to do with the US-EU trade talks.

Merkel urges Trump to respect 'values'

Germany and France have appealed to Donald Trump to respect “shared values”. They “still don’t get it”, a former EU diplomat said.

Obama warns of Trump-type populism in Europe

The US will stick with Nato no matter who is in the White House, according to Barack Obama, but he warned that Trump-style populism was a danger in Europe.

News in Brief

  1. EU trade commissioner asks for green light for US talks
  2. Slovakia's commissioner takes unpaid leave to run for presidency
  3. Minority elects Lofven as prime minister of Sweden
  4. Putin opposes EU prospects of Serbia and Kosovo
  5. Tsipras launches campaign to ratify Macedonia deal
  6. US-EU meeting in doubt after Trump cancels plane
  7. Germany and China to sign pact on finance cooperation
  8. Labour divided on second Brexit vote plan

Opinion

Lost in Brexit chaos - abortion rights in Northern Ireland

Labour MP Diana Johnson has brought a private members bill to Westminster that proposes to decriminalise abortion in the whole of the UK, which means that, if successfully passed, current provisions for Northern Ireland will also be repealed.

May on whistle-stop EU tour to seek new backstop pledges

The British prime minister dramatically delayed a parliamentary vote on the Brexit deal at the last minute, as she faced defeat. Theresa May will now speed-tour EU capitals to try to secure further political guarantees.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. International Partnership For Human RightsKyrgyz authorities have to immediately release human rights defender Azimjon Askarov
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersSeminar on disability and user involvement
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersInternational appetite for Nordic food policies
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Nordic Innovation House in Hong Kong
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region has chance to become world leader when it comes to start-ups
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersTheresa May: “We will not be turning our backs on the Nordic region”
  7. International Partnership for Human RightsOpen letter to Emmanuel Macron ahead of Uzbek president's visit
  8. International Partnership for Human RightsRaising key human rights concerns during visit of Turkmenistan's foreign minister
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersState of the Nordic Region presented in Brussels
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General

Latest News

  1. Aachen treaty and Brexit endgame This WEEK
  2. Germany led way on EU human rights protection
  3. How to troll the European Parliament elections
  4. MEPs in Strasbourg: everywhere but the plenary
  5. Brexit delay 'reasonable', as May tries cross-party talks
  6. MEPs allow Draghi's membership of secretive bank group
  7. EU parliament backs Morocco deal despite row
  8. Barnier open to 'future relations' talks if UK red lines shift

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us