Thursday

21st Sep 2017

UK turns from EU to US in 'new age'

  • May to meet Trump and his family on Friday (Photo: Consilium)

Theresa May, the first foreign leader to visit the US after Donald Trump’s election, will tell a Republican Party event in Philadelphia on Thursday (26 January) that his presidency and Brexit mark the dawn of a “new age”.

“As we end our membership of the European Union … we have the opportunity to reassert our belief in a confident, sovereign and global Britain, ready to build relationships with old friends and new allies alike”, she will say, according to The Times, a British newspaper.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now and get 40% off for an annual subscription. Sale ends soon.

  1. €90 per year. Use discount code EUOBS40%
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

  • Trump continued to bash Europe on immigration on Wednesday (Photo: Gage Skidmore)

“As we rediscover our confidence together, as you renew your nation just as we renew ours, we have the opportunity … to renew the special relationship for this new age. We have the opportunity to lead, together, again."

Amid doubt in Europe over Trump’s respect for international norms, she will also call on the US to keep working with the UN and with international partners to “defeat evil” and to protect “freedom, liberty and the rights of man”.

Trump is to make a brief appearance in Philadelphia before holding what a May spokesperson called “substantive talks” with May in Washington on Friday about trade, Nato, Syria, and terrorism.

The EU has warned that it would be illegal for the UK to enter into trade negotiations with other countries before it left the bloc, a process set to start in March and to take at least two years.

But Liam Fox, May’s trade chief, has already submitted a document to the US that outlines which sectors, such as financial services and public procurement, should be part of a future UK-US deal, The Times reported.

The US administration is also willing to start talks immediately, according to Ted Malloch, an American academic who is tipped to be Trump’s ambassador to the EU.

Malloch told the BBC on Wednesday: “There won't be a deal signed in the White House on Friday, but there could be an agreement for a framework going forward where people are empowered to have that kind of conversation behind closed doors”.

"That … sends a signal that the United States is behind Great Britain in its hour of need,” he said.

Malloch, who teaches at the Henley Business School in the UK, said a US-UK deal could be made ready in “90 days” and called the EU warnings “absurd … legalism”.

“When your wife is having an affair with someone else, you tell her to stop it, but oftentimes that doesn't stop the relationship,” he said.

EU bashing

Trump, who earlier predicted that other member states will follow the UK out of the EU, continued to bash Europe on Wednesday.

"Europe has made a tremendous mistake in allowing all those people in," he told the ABC News broadcaster, referring to Arab and African asylum seekers.

Malloch told the BBC that he would bet against the survival of the EU’s single currency if he was an investor.

“I personally am not certain that there will be a European Union with which to have [free-trade] negotiations [in future]”, he said, adding: “The one thing I would do in 2017 is short the euro.”

EU politicians have also begun to outline their positions ahead of the Brexit negotiations.

Alfonso Dastis, the Spanish foreign minister, told the Financial Times newspaper on Wednesday that the EU should not take a “procedural” or “punitive” approach.

“We don’t see this as a battle in which one side has to come out as the victor and the other as the vanquished,” he said.

Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the Dutch finance minister who chairs the club of eurozone states, said London firms would not be able to operate in the single market unless they abide by EU law.

“Given the promise of full sovereignty, this will be a hard truth to accept in Britain,” he said in a speech in Brussels on Wednesday.

Human impact

International relations aside, the Brexit vote has already had an impact on average people’s lives.

Sophie in ‘t Veld, a liberal Dutch MEP, told The Guardian, a British newspaper, on Wednesday that she would create a cross-party “task force” in the European Parliament to monitor the rights of EU nationals in the UK.

She said people who applied for UK residency in the wake of Brexit had faced a “bureaucratic wall” and “feel they are being harassed”.

“Brexit will be partly a technical negotiation, but ultimately it is about people”, she said.

A House of Commons committee looking into Brexit was told on Wednesday that the number of EU students seeking places at British universities has fallen by 7 percent and that European academics were less interested in UK posts.

Sally Hunt, the head of the University and College Union, told MPs that May’s “rhetoric” had made people feel “unwelcome”.

“We are not alone in raising concerns about the damage being caused by Brexit and the type of rhetoric being used by politicians on immigration,” she said.

The number of nurses from EU states seeking jobs in the UK has fallen by 90 percent, the UK’s Nursing and Midwifery Council said also on Wednesday.

“We’re already facing a crisis in nurse staffing numbers … The NHS [the British health service] could not cope without the contribution from EU nurses,” Janet Davies, the chief of the Royal College of Nursing, said.

Trump pledges US-first foreign policy

Economic protectionism and war on Islamist terrorism will form the heart of US foreign policy, Trump has said. He did not rubbish Nato, but indicated interest in a new Russia alliance.

Juncker envisages EU of core groups

Commission head Juncker say EU states which want deeper integration should press ahead in core groups, in reaction to the UK’s departure.

UK wants to keep EU security cooperation

The UK aims to maintain and to "instensify" cooperation with the EU to fight crime and terrorism even after Brexit, according to London's new policy paper.

Johnson challenges May on hard Brexit

In yet an another attempt at becoming Tory leader, the UK foreign secretary argues for a hard Brexit, while PM Theresa May is expected to set out her strategy, including a financial settlement with the EU, on Friday.

Bank agency shuns EU invitations

The EU's banking agency is not visiting cities that want to host the agency post-Brexit "to ensure objectivity". The medicines agency has no such qualms.

News in Brief

  1. Catalan leader decries Spanish government intervention
  2. Hungary set for fresh campaign against public enemy Soros
  3. Iceland's PM leads in polls ahead of October elections
  4. Erdogan demands Iraqi Kurds cancel referendum
  5. Ireland to hold referendum on ownership of water
  6. Report: May to offer €20bn as Brexit bill in Florence speech
  7. Merkel poised to win election despite CDU dip in polls
  8. EU unveils cyber security ideas

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Jewish CongressCommends the German Government for Adopting the Working Definition of Antisemitism
  2. EU2017EEFour Tax Initiatives to Modernise the EU's Tax System
  3. Dialogue PlatformResponsibility in Practice: Gulen & Islamic Thought
  4. Counter BalanceHuman Rights Concerns Over EIB Loan to the Trans Anatolian Pipeline Project
  5. Mission of China to the EUChina Leads the Global Clean Energy Transition
  6. CES - Silicones EuropeFrom Baking Moulds to Oven Mitts, Silicones Are a Key Ingredient in Kitchens
  7. Martens CentreFor a New Europeanism: How to Put the Motto "Unity in Diversity" Into Practice
  8. Access MBAGet Ahead With an MBA Degree. Top MBA Event in Brussels
  9. Idealist QuarterlyIdealist Quarterly Event: Building Fearless Democracies With Gerald Hensel
  10. Mission of China to the EUPresident Xi Urges Bigger Global Role for Emerging Economies
  11. EU2017EEAre We Socially Insured in the Future of Work?
  12. European Jewish CongressFrench Authorities to Root Out "Societal Antisemitism" After Jewish Family Assaulted

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Federation of Local Energy CompaniesClean Energy for All? On 10.10 Top-Level Speakers Present the Clean Energy Package
  2. UNICEFUp to Three Quarters of Children Face Abuse & Exploitation on Mediterranean Migration Routes
  3. Swedish EnterprisesEurope Under Challenge; Recipe for a Competitive EU
  4. European Public Health AllianceCall to International Action to Break Deadlock on Chronic Diseases Crisis
  5. CES - Silicones EuropePropelling the construction revolution with silicones
  6. EU2017EEEU 2018 Budget: A Case of Three Paradoxes
  7. ACCAUS 'Dash for Gas' Could Disrupt Global Gas Markets
  8. Swedish Enterprises“No Time to Lose” Film & Debate on How Business & Politics Can Fight Climate Change
  9. European Free AllianceSave The Date!! 26.09 - Coppieters Awards To... Carme Forcadell
  10. European Jewish CongressEJC Expresses Grave Concern Over Rise in Antisemitism in Poland
  11. EU2017EECybersecurity and the Estonian Presidency
  12. European Free AllianceFemu a Corsica. A Corsican Nationalist Party With a European Dimension