By Amit Roy
OVER the last few months I have noticed a spate of articles arguing that US president Donald Trump would be a better bet for Britain.
Here are two from the Daily Telegraph, for example.
“Why the Tories should fear a Biden presidency,” was by Freddy Gray, who argued, “The Irish lobby continues to exert a strong influence on US politics. Brexiteers should pray Trump wins.”
Another, by Douglas Murray, reached the same conclusion. It was headlined: “It is in the UK’s national interest for Trump to triumph.”
He maintained: “The president’s many flaws shouldn’t distract from the many successes of his extraordinary first term.”
But the British government would not be doing its job if it did not prepare for the possibility of a Trump defeat. In fact, the Sunday Times reported last weekend ((11): “Panicking No 10 dumps Trump and woos Biden.”
There was a ring of truth to the report: “Ministers have been told to forge links with the White House front runner after ‘writing off’ Donald Trump’s chances of re-election, amid fears that the UK could be left out in the cold if the former vice-president wins. Boris Johnson has been warned that Trump is on course for a landslide defeat with his Democratic opponents set to land a historic ‘triple whammy’ by seizing control of the presidency, the Senate and the House of Representatives.”
Boris can always remind Biden that when he was mayor of London in 2015, he did say: “The only reason I wouldn’t visit some parts of New York is the real risk of meeting Donald Trump.”
Last month Biden attacked Boris’s attempt to undo part of the Withdrawal Agreement signed last year through the Internal Market Bill.
Biden tweeted: “We can’t allow the Good Friday Agreement that brought peace to Northern Ireland to become a casualty of Brexit. Any trade deal between the US and UK must be contingent upon respect for the Agreement and preventing the return of a hard border. Period.”
To be sure, the UK and the US have a “special relationship” but what Lord Palmerston once said remains true to this day: “In international relations, there are no permanent friends or permanent enemies, only permanent interests.”
I still wouldn’t want to predict the result, but should Trump lose, the Indian prime minister Narendra Modi will also have to find a new best friend.