The interim leader of UKIP has become the first “top politician” to meet with the US President elect Donald J Trump.
According to Nigel Farage the “one-to-one” took place at Trump Towers in New York and lasted over an hour, as the pair talked about “freedom and winning” after Brexit.
Right after the meeting Farage, who is being touted for the job of US Ambassador to the UK, commented on Twitter that “It was a great honour to spend time with Donald Trump. He was relaxed, and full of good ideas”.
He also added “(his) support for the US-UK relationship is very strong. This is a man with whom we can do business”.
Later in an interview for CNN Farage said:
“I was especially pleased at his very positive reaction to the idea that Sir Winston Churchill’s bust should be put back in the Oval Office”.
Farage considers Trump’s victory as good news for Britain, believes that Trump supports the US-UK relationship and is a man with whom we can do business.
Farage may be right, but he seems to not understand that there are at least three issues here.
Firstly, Trump is an isolationist. That’s why he has pledged during the campaign to scrap both the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). In other words, Trump seems to be against free trade deals.
Trump’s US protectionism could be as equally as devastating to the UK’s economy as the loss of free tariffs and trade deals with the EU’s single market, that Nigel Farage wants us to quit.
If confirmed, Trump’s US protectionism is bad news for anyone such as Farage who wants a hard Brexit and to leave the single market.
Secondly, and despite of claims to the contrary, Trump doesn’t seem to believe that the UK and US have a special relationship. Right after his election, Trump called nine different world’s leader before calling Theresa May. Britain came after Egypt, Ireland, Mexico, Israel, Turkey, India, Japan, Australia and South Korea. All those countries have strong political and economic links with the US and are strategically important for the government.
Even worse for Britain, Trump has already arranged to meet with Shinzo Abe, the Japanese Prime Minister, next week, before an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit.
The third and last issue is that Farage doesn’t speak for Britain. He may think he does, but in reality he has no mandate to speak on behalf of the British people. Therefore, his opinion is irrelevant.
So what was the purpose of this meeting?
Farage is certainly looking for a job. And Trump seems to be willing to give him something to do. Also, it’s important for the Brexiteers to continue with their fairytale of Britain being better off out of the EU, even if they have no real economic plans.
Yes, Farage was the first top British politician to meet with Trump. But surely he was after something else. According to some reports Farage, who was an active member of Trump’s campaign, is set to become US Ambassador to the UK. If true, Farage (ironically) would steal the job of a US citizen and become “Trump’s puppet” in UK.
So was Farage on a job interview? Only time will tell.