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UK politics prolongs doubt over relations with Trump

Friday, June 7, 2019

Subject

Future UK-US relations.

Significance

During his state visit to the United Kingdom, US President Trump took a conciliatory line towards his hosts. There was little substantive progress on bilateral issues, but neither was there open disagreement. Trump appeared to walk back a threat to cut off intelligence-sharing with the United Kingdom over London’s stance towards China, and he also attempted to minimise the damage he caused by suggesting the National Health Service (NHS) should be part of a future US-UK trade deal.

Impacts

  • Trump remains unpopular among large sections of the UK public, which makes it risky for Conservative politicians to appear close to him.
  • Trump suggested that Nigel Farage should become the UK’s chief Brexit negotiator, indicating he still holds hard-line views on Brexit.
  • A hard border in Northern Ireland after Brexit would complicate the already-difficult politics of a US-UK trade deal in the US Congress.

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