Before we go any further, I am not someone who bemoans America’s role in world affairs. In fact, one of the things I fear about Trump’s presidency is what it will do to the global order in terms of the US retreating from the role it has played since the end of the Second World War. Nor am I someone who thinks that Britain should not prioritise a relationship with America. Having said all that, I don’t see why the UK needs to be so, well, needy when it comes to the States, and furthermore is continually happy to place itself at that nation’s mercy.
The fact that May is the first world leader Trump will be officially meeting as president of the United States is a very good thing, whatever comes of it. But why is the political class acting like the small child receiving a treat for being well behaved (“Brexit was good, very good, and so are you for doing it”) who has taken to naively squealing about it? During the EU referendum, Remainers were terrified of “doing down the country”. Directly related to this, a common trope amongst a lot of Eurosceptics has been for years a sort of fantasy regarding putting the Empire back together (that’s what all that “Anglosphere” nonsense is about, in case you were wondering). But the way they always respond to America gives lie to all of this; in our actions, we never reflect the thought that we should be America’s equals, but rather that we wish to be a favoured child to the superpower.
Again, as I stated in my opening, there are all sorts of pragmatic reasons for wishing to be close to the United States of America. I only wish it wasn’t gone about in so undignified a manner. We keep hearing from the Eurosceptic Right how a trade deal with America will be the thing that makes post-Brexit fly; whether they are right or wrong about this, they seem not to have noticed how much they have thus put Britain’s fate for the next twenty years in the hands of another country, one that could take or leave a trade deal with the UK when all is said and done. As usual, it is Britain who needs something from the US and is slavishly begging for it. I hope some of you will forgive me for saying so, but it is that type of behaviour that seems to be doing the country down.