The 45th President’s state visit to the United Kingdom may have been controversial to many but it was convenient to some. Mixed in with the usual bizarre behaviour and the inevitable pomp and circumstance, the true agenda was never far from the surface.
Trump’s visit has conicided with a time of unique chaos and uncertainty in the UK. The Tory Party (and therefore the government) is still tearing itself apart, essentially leaderless and directionless. Parliament is fragmented, unable to find a way through the minefield that Brexit has become, new political parties rise and fall before our eyes, but at the very centre of every discussion, every debate and every argument lies one thing that Donald Trump likes to portray as his own. The art of the deal.
For a nation with an uncertain future, still on the brink of crashing out of the EU without a deal these are dangerous times and the delagation from America didn’t hold back in making their position clear, everything (and they meant everything) will be on the table.
The US-UK ‘special relationship’ has had some notable lows over the decades and some would dispute it’s even a relationship at all, so despite the backpedaling, many remain concerned about the obvious power imbalance in this situation. All the rhetoric about barmy Brussels bureaucrats aside, many British people have concerns about the impact of an American model on British society. American attitudes to food standards, animal welfare, climate change, gun control, women’s rights, human rights, race, religion, and of course health (to name a few) differ in many ways.
Concerns that the NHS is under threat have been exacerbated by recent events. Often seen as symbolic of what is great about Britain, the health service has long been eyed up by its openents as a potential gold mine and the austerity driven Conservative administrations of Cameron and May have frequently alluded to this. Few have summed it up better than John Major, one of their own, when he said in 2016 that “the NHS is about as safe with them as a pet hamster would be with a hungry python.”
The future of the UK could be potentially very different from way that most people expected it look post Brexit. The proponents of the no deal scenario tell us the future is bright and there are many great deals to be had in this brave new world and Donald Trump seems to agree
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