Tuesday

6th Dec 2016

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.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

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.

Column / Brexit Briefing

All hail the new establishment

Blair's return to British politics and Farage's likely lordship indicate that a new establishment is taking shape in Britain.

Brexit to hike British debt by €69bn

Britain’s decision to exit the EU is to prompt €69 billion of extra borrowing, a UK watchdog has said, leaving poorer families less well off.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Jewish CongressEJC President Breathes Sigh of Relief Over Result of Austrian Presidential Election
  2. CESICESI Congress Focuses on Future of Work, Public Services and Digitalisation
  3. European Gaming & Betting AssociationAustrian Association for Betting and Gambling Joins EGBA
  4. ACCAWomen of Europe Awards: Celebrating the Women who are Building Europe
  5. European Heart NetworkWhat About our Kids? Protect Children From Unhealthy Food and Drink Marketing
  6. ECR GroupRestoring Trust and Confidence in the European Parliament
  7. UNICEFChild Rights Agencies Call on EU to put Refugee and Migrant Children First
  8. MIRAIA New Vision on Clean Tech: Balancing Energy Efficiency, Climate Change and Costs
  9. World VisionChildren Cannot Wait! 7 Priority Actions to Protect all Refugee and Migrant Children
  10. ANCI LazioRegio-Mob Project Delivers Analysis of Transport and Mobility in Rome
  11. SDG Watch EuropeCivil Society Disappointed by the Commission's Plans for Sustainable Development Goals
  12. PLATO15 Fully-Funded PhD Positions Open – The Post-Crisis Legitimacy of the EU (PLATO)