Boris must utilise Nigel Farage
Matt Snape argues that Boris should utilise Nigel Farage's Special Relationship with President Donald J. Trump to secure a big, beautiful trade deal for the UK.
The recent resignation of UK ambassador Kim Darroch comes amid a Conservative leadership contest. The new British Prime Minister must repair relations between the UK and the US immediately. President Donald Trump is the best ally Britain can have now that Boris Johnson has been made leader of the Conservative Party. He has promised this country a ‘beautiful’ trade deal once it leaves the EU. Having him on side would provide the new premier with more leverage in the Brexit negotiations.
Throughout her premiership, Theresa May pandered to Brussels’ wishes. Therefore, she was never serious about the UK leaving the EU without a deal. She conducted the Brexit negotiations as if they were a civilised discussion, trusting that all parties wanted the same outcome. Yet the former Prime Minister behaved this way at the expense of alienating the United States. Her Withdrawal Agreement would never have ensured Britain can have a trade deal with Washington. Even Trump trashed the agreement when he visited the UK last year. She has had a staunch ally from the beginning and failed to exploit him. Instead of having the confidence to embrace trading with London’s biggest ally, she held onto the belief that the EU would offer her a decent deal and that she can be friends with all sides. This sort of diplomacy ends now.
Nonetheless, Boris has not been too kind to Trump. The Commentator revealed that the new Prime Minister told an India Today presenter that being compared to the US President would be ‘the death of his political career.’ And prior to his 2016 victory, the former London Mayor said Trump was ‘out of his mind’ for his call in 2015 to ban Muslims from entering America. He also said he ‘wouldn’t want to expose any Londoners to the risk of meeting Trump.’
The new Prime Minister is fortunate to have a friend in the White House. The President said Boris will be ‘great’ as Britain’s premier. Like with so many issues, the former London Mayor changes his mind. He has been much more receptive to the President in recent years. The Independent reported that the new Conservative leader claimed Trump has ‘many, many good qualities’, particularly regarding how he has got the economy ‘motoring’ again. In 2017, The Guardian reported that Boris claimed Trump’s tweets ‘engage people.’ Instead of focusing on past comments, both men need to concentrate on the end goal. The new Tory leader campaigned for Brexit and the President believes Britain’s future lies outside the EU too. This is a golden opportunity to achieve that trade deal.
The smartest move Boris could make, following Kim’s resignation, would be to appoint Nigel Farage as the new UK ambassador. This idea was proposed by The Spectator’s Steerpike. The Brexit Party became a thorn in Theresa May’s side and if there is a general election tomorrow, the new Prime Minister will need to form an alliance with them to ensure Labour are ripped apart in Northern England. The Peterborough by-election proved how well the Brexit Party can do in Labour seats as northern voters will never vote for a Conservative MP in areas that voted to leave the EU. If the Brexit Party can steal a considerable number of MPs from Labour, they can collaborate with the Tories to ensure no-deal can be legislated in Parliament. Instead of alienating Brexit Party supporters, Boris has an opportunity to win them over. It would be wise for no Tory candidate to contest a seat Farage’s party can steal off Labour in the North.
Also, Farage has political capital in the US Boris does not. The former UKIP leader was invited to a Trump rally during the 2016 US election, and he attended a party at Trump Tower. Trump also wanted a meeting with the Brexit Party leader during his UK state visit this year. He knows the US President far better than the new Prime Minister. What London needs is someone who believes in Brexit, arguing for a comprehensive free trade deal that can bring prosperity to a post-EU Britain.
Boris is a clever man. He has been underestimated at every opportunity. Now that he has achieved his dream, he needs to exploit what options he has available to ensure he can deliver the Brexit he campaigned for in 2016. Considering Farage has been taunting the establishment for a considerable time, his friendship with Trump could work to the Prime Minister’s advantage. It is time to get the former UKIP leader on side before his Brexit Party causes more damage.
Matt Snape is a freelance journalist whose stories have been featured in numerous national, local and specialist publications
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