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Brexit, Chilcot and the "Special Relationship"

Prof Honeydew

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The Chilcot report shows the length to which the British Government of the time went to preserve diplomatic and military relations with the United States, even to the detriment of political reputations and national prestige. This has been the central plank of British foreign policy since they realised they no longer ruled the waves during WW2 and hasn't been challenged since Anthony Eden's government backed down to American pressure during the Suez Crisis in 1956.

Britain has benefited from it once or twice during the last sixty years, most notably when Ronnie Reagan turned his back on the Monroe Doctrine and threw America's resources behind Thatcher's war in the Falklands, but, other than that, it has been a case of the Pentagon deciding and Downing Street doing what it's told. This "special relationship" has created ongoing resentment in some European states, most notably France, who sometimes consider Britain as an American cuckoo in the European nest.

Brexit has changed the dynamic. Once Britain leaves the EU, it no longer has any say in Europe's foreign policy. Its only use to America is as an ally in NATO but that doesn't carry the same weight because of Uncle Sam's overwhelming military superiority over the combined resources of the rest of the military alliance. So it looks more than likely that America is going to change the focus of its relations with Europe. They'll get more bang for their buck dealing with France and Germany and paying the Yanks £170 billion to replace Trident ain't going to change it.

It will be interesting to see what happens British foreign policy when the White House rings the Bundeskanzleramt and the Elysee Palace before Downing Street any time there's an international crisis. It's another headache facing whoever emerges from the coma to take over governing Britain.
 


GDPR

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And there was me thinking that it was us that had the special relationship. Are you suggesting that the bowl of shamrock on Paddy's day is a sham???
 

parentheses

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Maybe the Brits are turning their backs on Uncle Sam.


Splendid isolation again.


.
 

ygargarin

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The Chilcot report shows the length to which the British Government of the time went to preserve diplomatic and military relations with the United States, even to the detriment of political reputations and national prestige. This has been the central plank of British foreign policy since they realised they no longer ruled the waves during WW2 and hasn't been challenged since Anthony Eden's government backed down to American pressure during the Suez Crisis in 1956.

Britain has benefited from it once or twice during the last sixty years, most notably when Ronnie Reagan turned his back on the Monroe Doctrine and threw America's resources behind Thatcher's war in the Falklands, but, other than that, it has been a case of the Pentagon deciding and Downing Street doing what it's told. This "special relationship" has created ongoing resentment in some European states, most notably France, who sometimes consider Britain as an American cuckoo in the European nest.

Brexit has changed the dynamic. Once Britain leaves the EU, it no longer has any say in Europe's foreign policy. Its only use to America is as an ally in NATO but that doesn't carry the same weight because of Uncle Sam's overwhelming military superiority over the combined resources of the rest of the military alliance. So it looks more than likely that America is going to change the focus of its relations with Europe. They'll get more bang for their buck dealing with France and Germany and paying the Yanks £170 billion to replace Trident ain't going to change it.

It will be interesting to see what happens British foreign policy when the White House rings the Bundeskanzleramt and the Elysee Palace before Downing Street any time there's an international crisis. It's another headache facing whoever emerges from the coma to take over governing Britain.
Interesting thesis. However I don't believe the USA trusts France or Germany as allies, in the same way that Britain does not trust them.

France and Germany's recent treatment of other EU states indicates that the USA and Britain are right to distrust them. Paddy would plough on with gormless loyalty to the EU but, fortunately, it's not within Paddy's control. If the EU edifice won't change, then it will crumble.
 

Prof Honeydew

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Interesting thesis. However I don't believe the USA trusts France or Germany as allies, in the same way that Britain does not trust them.

France and Germany's recent treatment of other EU states indicates that the USA and Britain are right to distrust them. Paddy would plough on with gormless loyalty to the EU but, fortunately, it's not within Paddy's control. If the EU edifice won't change, then it will crumble.
It's not a matter of trust. It's a matter of practicalities. The EU's economy is about six times the size of Britain's. A common EU diplomatic position has many times more clout than Britain's.

Where Britain will feel the difference is in the telling of the story. For historic and linguistic reasons, the British view has coloured America's interpretation of what's going on in Europe more than that of any other country. But that advantage is lost once it's outside the fold.
 

maxflinn

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The Chilcot report shows the length to which the British Government of the time went to preserve diplomatic and military relations with the United States, even to the detriment of political reputations and national prestige. This has been the central plank of British foreign policy since they realised they no longer ruled the waves during WW2 and hasn't been challenged since Anthony Eden's government backed down to American pressure during the Suez Crisis in 1956.

Britain has benefited from it once or twice during the last sixty years, most notably when Ronnie Reagan turned his back on the Monroe Doctrine and threw America's resources behind Thatcher's war in the Falklands, but, other than that, it has been a case of the Pentagon deciding and Downing Street doing what it's told. This "special relationship" has created ongoing resentment in some European states, most notably France, who sometimes consider Britain as an American cuckoo in the European nest.

Brexit has changed the dynamic. Once Britain leaves the EU, it no longer has any say in Europe's foreign policy. Its only use to America is as an ally in NATO but that doesn't carry the same weight because of Uncle Sam's overwhelming military superiority over the combined resources of the rest of the military alliance. So it looks more than likely that America is going to change the focus of its relations with Europe. They'll get more bang for their buck dealing with France and Germany and paying the Yanks £170 billion to replace Trident ain't going to change it.

It will be interesting to see what happens British foreign policy when the White House rings the Bundeskanzleramt and the Elysee Palace before Downing Street any time there's an international crisis. It's another headache facing whoever emerges from the coma to take over governing Britain.
Some interesting points, but I'd say the special relationship and more to the point; the fact that the US is easier able to manipulate EU foreign policy as a bloc with Britain in it means that there won't be any Brexit. The UK establishment will see to that at the behest of Uncle Sam..
 

Malcolm Redfellow

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I've twittered it before, but I'll repeat it.

I remember folk who repeatedly paid good money to go to the cinema to stand, cheer and applaud at this moment:

[video=youtube;D6ouyeycWk8]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D6ouyeycWk8[/video]​
 

JJames

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No matter which way you look at it from an American perspective, the EU was either a competitor power or one in waiting. Historically, global hegemonic powers hate competitors. Britain leaving the EU has brought an abrupt end to that.

The idea that America needed Britain in the EU to influence European foreign policy is incorrect. Sure, it was nice to have Britain in the EU to prevent said foreign policy from unnecessarily conflicting with American interests, or even at times, actually serving American interests (E.g Libya). But to say that it needed this arrangement is false.

The USA has displayed much success in influencing Europe via NATO, or even putting pressure on the EU directly (E.g Russian sanctions).

The relationship between the USA and UK is much deeper than the EU or even NATO. Deeper even.
 
Last edited:

rainmaker

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The Chilcot report shows the length to which the British Government of the time went to preserve diplomatic and military relations with the United States, even to the detriment of political reputations and national prestige. This has been the central plank of British foreign policy since they realised they no longer ruled the waves during WW2 and hasn't been challenged since Anthony Eden's government backed down to American pressure during the Suez Crisis in 1956.

Britain has benefited from it once or twice during the last sixty years, most notably when Ronnie Reagan turned his back on the Monroe Doctrine and threw America's resources behind Thatcher's war in the Falklands, but, other than that, it has been a case of the Pentagon deciding and Downing Street doing what it's told. This "special relationship" has created ongoing resentment in some European states, most notably France, who sometimes consider Britain as an American cuckoo in the European nest.

Brexit has changed the dynamic. Once Britain leaves the EU, it no longer has any say in Europe's foreign policy. Its only use to America is as an ally in NATO but that doesn't carry the same weight because of Uncle Sam's overwhelming military superiority over the combined resources of the rest of the military alliance. So it looks more than likely that America is going to change the focus of its relations with Europe. They'll get more bang for their buck dealing with France and Germany and paying the Yanks £170 billion to replace Trident ain't going to change it.

It will be interesting to see what happens British foreign policy when the White House rings the Bundeskanzleramt and the Elysee Palace before Downing Street any time there's an international crisis. It's another headache facing whoever emerges from the coma to take over governing Britain.
Your whole premise is based on America and Europe cooperating on foreign policy in the future. That would need them to agree on foreign policy first - good luck with that.

For America to suddenly become foreign policy allies with France and Germany, the EU would suddenly have to drastically alter it's foreign policies.

Talk about hysteria - the place is riddled with it.
 

Betson

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The special relationship between the US and the UK is very one sided , basically the UK is like an obedient dog or a servant at the US's beck and call for anything it wants.
 

parentheses

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But now IMO we have had two serious axe-chops at the special relationship.

Firstly the British(mainly English) people defied America and voted to leave the EU.

And now the Chilcot report, which has held up to scrutiny Tony Blair's shameful lapdog behaviour in the run-up to the war in Iraq.

These two events may steer English people to go their own way in the world once more. They have a huge tradition to draw on.

.
 

ygargarin

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The special relationship between the US and the UK is very one sided , basically the UK is like an obedient dog or a servant at the US's beck and call for anything it wants.
Correct. That relationship predates the founding of the EU by at least 100 years. It is a dominant relationship that the USA will not relinquish easily. The USA does not trust Germany or France, even less so Poland and other recent eastern european eu joiners.

The USA wants Britain as an ally. It will seek to maintain that relationship.
 

Prof Honeydew

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Correct. That relationship predates the founding of the EU by at least 100 years. It is a dominant relationship that the USA will not relinquish easily. The USA does not trust Germany or France, even less so Poland and other recent eastern european eu joiners.

The USA wants Britain as an ally. It will seek to maintain that relationship.
America is not going to sever its relationship with Britain. But the relationship will slide down its list of priorities, maybe below those with France and Germany.

Your whole premise is based on America and Europe cooperating on foreign policy in the future. That would need them to agree on foreign policy first - good luck with that.

For America to suddenly become foreign policy allies with France and Germany, the EU would suddenly have to drastically alter it's foreign policies.

Talk about hysteria - the place is riddled with it.
America and the EU will agree on most issues and disagree on others. By and large, they will find themselves on the same side in diplomatic matters involving Russia, militant Islam, security of oil supplies, trade relations with China etc. and both will seek the co-operation of the other to maximise their clout. Britain on its own outside the EU isn't going to matter very much in most cases.
 

Ireniall

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The Chilcot report shows the length to which the British Government of the time went to preserve diplomatic and military relations with the United States, even to the detriment of political reputations and national prestige. This has been the central plank of British foreign policy since they realised they no longer ruled the waves during WW2 and hasn't been challenged since Anthony Eden's government backed down to American pressure during the Suez Crisis in 1956.

Britain has benefited from it once or twice during the last sixty years, most notably when Ronnie Reagan turned his back on the Monroe Doctrine and threw America's resources behind Thatcher's war in the Falklands, but, other than that, it has been a case of the Pentagon deciding and Downing Street doing what it's told. This "special relationship" has created ongoing resentment in some European states, most notably France, who sometimes consider Britain as an American cuckoo in the European nest.

Brexit has changed the dynamic. Once Britain leaves the EU, it no longer has any say in Europe's foreign policy. Its only use to America is as an ally in NATO but that doesn't carry the same weight because of Uncle Sam's overwhelming military superiority over the combined resources of the rest of the military alliance. So it looks more than likely that America is going to change the focus of its relations with Europe. They'll get more bang for their buck dealing with France and Germany and paying the Yanks £170 billion to replace Trident ain't going to change it.

It will be interesting to see what happens British foreign policy when the White House rings the Bundeskanzleramt and the Elysee Palace before Downing Street any time there's an international crisis. It's another headache facing whoever emerges from the coma to take over governing Britain.
They have to do this or there is a danger that Nato will be increasingly by-passed by the increasing EU military co-operation. The UK is a much less valuable ally outside the EU and the UK is a diminished presence in world affairs on its own.
 

Ardillaun

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The British are generally a practical people but on the the subject of America they seem unable to face reality. Suez should have put an end to the Special Relationship in its Churchillian form; instead, it only served to deepen it. Ironically, Blair came a cropper just a little east of Eden, so to speak. Iraq was a daft adventure from the start that ran the risk of undermining the opponents of radical Islam in the ME, as was pointed out at the time. In Canada, Jean Chretien, to his credit, said 'non, merci' to George Bush and saved us a boatload of grief.
 

RasherHash

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The Chilcot report shows the length to which the British Government of the time went to preserve diplomatic and military relations with the United States, even to the detriment of political reputations and national prestige. This has been the central plank of British foreign policy since they realised they no longer ruled the waves during WW2 and hasn't been challenged since Anthony Eden's government backed down to American pressure during the Suez Crisis in 1956.

Britain has benefited from it once or twice during the last sixty years, most notably when Ronnie Reagan turned his back on the Monroe Doctrine and threw America's resources behind Thatcher's war in the Falklands, but, other than that, it has been a case of the Pentagon deciding and Downing Street doing what it's told. This "special relationship" has created ongoing resentment in some European states, most notably France, who sometimes consider Britain as an American cuckoo in the European nest.

Brexit has changed the dynamic. Once Britain leaves the EU, it no longer has any say in Europe's foreign policy. Its only use to America is as an ally in NATO but that doesn't carry the same weight because of Uncle Sam's overwhelming military superiority over the combined resources of the rest of the military alliance. So it looks more than likely that America is going to change the focus of its relations with Europe. They'll get more bang for their buck dealing with France and Germany and paying the Yanks £170 billion to replace Trident ain't going to change it.

It will be interesting to see what happens British foreign policy when the White House rings the Bundeskanzleramt and the Elysee Palace before Downing Street any time there's an international crisis. It's another headache facing whoever emerges from the coma to take over governing Britain.
I remember reading about how exasperated a US secretary of state was in having to deal with so many squabbaling Euro ministers and expressed the longing for the day when the EU would get its act together and appoint one foreign minister they could control er, negotiate with.

The EU empire has always been a US inspired vehicle.
 

RasherHash

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Lumpy Talbot

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No
There is always the NATO and security services link between the US and the UK. As recently confirmed with the Snowden revelations GCHQ is a significant part of the US's military industrial complex even though it may be based in Gloucestershire.

And the UK may find it easier to leave the EU rather more than it would be allowed to leave NATO.

So, militarily and security/defence wise there are still reasons for the 'special relationship' between Washington and London.

I've always been convinced that a major part of the briefing every incoming UK prime minister gets from the head of the security services and COBRA is a reality check in this area and who exactly pulls the strings.
 

Vega1447

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I remember reading about how exasperated a US secretary of state was in having to deal with so many squabbaling Euro ministers and expressed the longing for the day when the EU would get its act together and appoint one foreign minister they could control er, negotiate with.

The EU empire has always been a US inspired vehicle.
That's a stretch.

A hegemonic US would prefer a collection of individual European states that could be divided and conquered to a potential alternative centre of power.
 


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