Opinion

KASSAM: Trump Has Britain’s Back (and America’s) On Brexit

Raheem Kassam Contributor

Back in Blighty, politicians of all stripes are clamoring to avoid fulfilling what the British public demanded in our 2016 Brexit vote. Thankfully, it looks like the American president at least has our back.

That’s because Trump — a businessman — sees opportunity in all things, whereas sadly the British mentality has been one of managed decline since at least the 1970s.

In the White House Rose Garden today, the president announced: “With the U.K. we’re continuing our trade and we’re going to be increasing it very substantially as time goes by … We’re agreeing to go forward and preserve our trade agreement … We have a very good trading relationship with the U.K. and that’s just been strengthened further.’’

The news — buried beneath the cavalcade of CNN contributors bemoaning the border security national emergency — reveals a welcome injection of $16.5 billion of trade in the relationship between the two nations. If Trump is right and this expands further, both countries are in for a Brexit windfall.

The trick, of course, is making sure Britain’s trading relationship with European Union member states doesn’t suffer, either. Yesterday’s devastating economic news from Germany almost guarantees the EU won’t try and stare Britain down in that area just yet.

The increased cash flow is also important in increasingly cagey economic times. Are U.S. jobs numbers up? Sure. But how long before the new tech bubble bursts? Or before the housing market corrects itself again?

Having more in the way of trade between America and the U.K. may help cushion, or even avert, any of these potential blows. It will also bind the nations further together against encroachment from the centralizing, regulation-obsessed European Union, which itself is benefitting from a massive trade surplus while having the audacity to suggest counter-tariffs if the White House tries to correct this imbalance.

Additionally, it is worth remember the United States and the EU could not come to a trade deal despite 15 rounds of talks over several years. Issues such as energy policy, subsidies, the legal sector, and things like the Buy American Act kept getting in the way. And just as well, too.

The European Union’s approach to trade and partnerships is not so much about all boats rising together so much as it is about their bureaucrats jumping on board your vessel, hoisting their flag, and declaring “regulatory conformity” — which actually just means “Brussels’ rules.”

It was nothing short of a miracle when Hillary Clinton lost and TTIP deal got shelved.

The United Kingdom and United States have far less to bicker about in these regards.

While we often may be separated by a common language, at least we have a common language. That makes things a lot easier from the get go.

Neither of us are trying to get one over on the other. Because that’s not really what alleged allies do. In this regard, as well as most others, the European Union is a bad faith actor. It’s like having a social justice warrior of the trade bloc world.

When it suits the EU, it plays victim: “Wah, wah, don’t hit us with tariffs, nasty Mr. Trump!”

When in a position of strength, they bully: “We’re going to punish Britain for leaving our friendly union!”

The rest of the time, they’ve got their begging bowls out, posturing as a world power while demanding America’s military umbrella (a la NATO) protect them from mean Mr. Vladimir Putin.

A new Anglo-American trade deal would be one in the eye for the EU. Given the way they’ve treated President Trump and the United Kingdom since 2016, it’s about time.

Raheem Kassam is a fellow at the Claremont Institute and the Middle East Forum. He is the former editor of Breitbart London and author of two bestselling books: “No Go Zones” and “Enoch Was Right.”


The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.