Luke McGee Profile picture
17 Oct, 12 tweets, 5 min read
Many Brits live under the false impression that the UK has a Special Relationship with the US. In reality, it's far more transactional, especially for the Americans. This delusion is especially dangerous as post-Brexit UK seeks a new place in the world edition.cnn.com/2020/10/17/pol…
While the two do have a very close relationship on security and defence built on post-war efforts, it would be foolhardy to expect any US president to place much emphasis on the UK's economic interests over any other third country edition.cnn.com/2020/10/17/pol…
The problem Boris Johnson has is that a close relationship with the White House is more important than any time since the war, given the UK's new status outside the EU. What a headache, then, that the US is having an election with 2 v different candidates edition.cnn.com/2020/10/17/pol…
On one hand: Trump likes Brexit, dislikes the EU and might see benefit in disrupting the EU by teaming up with the UK in a way that helps the UK economically. However, Trump is wildly unpopular in the UK and Boris does not want to be seen as his best mate edition.cnn.com/2020/10/17/pol…
On the other: Brits are generally more pro-Democrat & more pro-America when a Dem is in the White House. However, Biden clearly does not support the UK's Brexit position, especially when it comes to Northern Ireland. edition.cnn.com/2020/10/17/pol…
Which brings us to the Brexit paradox. A hard Brexit gives the UK most freedom to deal with global partners, yet the hardest of Brexits nixes the UK's ability to deal with its most important partner of all, at least in the case of a Biden presidency edition.cnn.com/2020/10/17/pol…
Now, some choice quotes: "I don't think the British public understands the reservoir of public support for Ireland in America. I went to plenty of St. Patrick's Day parades, but nothing for St George's Day," says @tjscotto edition.cnn.com/2020/10/17/pol…
“This recent public backing of the GFA has mostly been driven by American politicians … it gives the Irish confidence that should a hard border come into place, the world's biggest power will be a true ally” says @OxfordDiplomat edition.cnn.com/2020/10/17/pol…
"Brits already think we have a very close relationship with America and only 21% want to see it get closer … If given a choice, our research shows Brits would prefer to have a closer relationship with Europe” says @chriscurtis94 edition.cnn.com/2020/10/17/pol…
"Johnson is at least smart enough to know that being chums with Trump is not something that helps him with the British public” says Malcom Rifkind edition.cnn.com/2020/10/17/pol…
"I never grew up thinking there was a special relationship, neither did my parents. All we knew about the UK was the Queen and an awful comedian called Benny Hill” says @scottlucas edition.cnn.com/2020/10/17/pol…
Tl;dr: The UK would love to have a special relationship with America; America can v much take it or leave it edition.cnn.com/2020/10/17/pol…

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More from @lukemcgee

18 Sep
Alexander Navalny is out of his coma and plotting a return to Russia. How has his poisoning affected the opposition's morale? @Anna_Journal and I spoke to members of that opposition who told us that safety is seldom an option if you oppose the Kremlin edition.cnn.com/2020/09/18/eur…
How safe is Navalny? ""Russia has a track record of sudden deaths among the Kremlin's critics," says @VNAkimenko.
"If this wasn't a murder plot or assassination attempt, it was an act of intimidation." edition.cnn.com/2020/09/18/eur…
"I don't think the words safety or security apply to anyone who is opposition in Russia,” says @vkaramurza, who has been poisoned twice in 5 years. "I can have as much protection as I like, but I have to touch doorknobs and breathe air.” edition.cnn.com/2020/09/18/eur…
Read 7 tweets
14 May
The coronavirus crisis has reignited one of the country's most bitter political debates: Can the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland survive as a union of four nations? edition.cnn.com/2020/05/14/uk/…
Sunday night's address and the confusion that followed hammered home the uncomfortable reality that the Prime Minister has very little control over what happens in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. edition.cnn.com/2020/05/14/uk/…
"Filming was a total nightmare. He was stopping and starting, asking to change bits, complaining about the length, saying it was all too complex," said a no10 source of PM's Sunday address. If he thought that, it's little wonder Sturgeon was confused edition.cnn.com/2020/05/14/uk/…
Read 8 tweets
22 Dec 19
Thread: I've spent the past few days going through notes from 2019 and thinking about Brexit how Brexit is seen all over Europe. If you take the thoughts of diplomats and civil servants, people who actually have to *do* Brexit, it's an interesting picture.
Before I get started: no quotes, just my notes on the general thoughts of people who work on this stuff every day. Some are in London, some are in Brussels, some are in capitals around the rest of Europe. Some voted leave, some still think Brexit can be reversed.
Across the board, almost everyone would have preferred that this question wasn't solved via referendum. Everyone generally agreed that the problem with a referendum was that it came at a time that Brits were shifting their politics to being driven by heart, not head.
Read 18 tweets
6 Dec 19
During this election, there's been an extraordinary amount of noise about Boris selling the NHS to Trump. It's a slightly misleading claim. However, the truth about how the US can strategically use Brexit to hike global drug prices is fascinating edition.cnn.com/2019/12/06/bus…
American drug companies believe that other nations artificially reduce the cost of drugs via government policy, reimbursement schemes etc. In any trade deal, the US would 100% try to change our policy so that prices would increase edition.cnn.com/2019/12/06/bus…
Specifically, they would demand "full market access" and some kind of fairness provision. Short version: they would be able to interfere in our drug regulation process to make drugs more expensive. edition.cnn.com/2019/12/06/bus…
Read 8 tweets
26 Oct 19
As we hurtle towards another Brexit deadline with no clear way out of the chaos, it's worth reflecting on how we got here. Tl;dr, the UK has made a total hash of Brexit 1/10 edition.cnn.com/2019/10/26/uk/…
David Cameron's shock resignation triggered a leadership contest that Boris Johnson was supposed to win. He had a victorious Vote Leave team in place and the goodwill of leavers behind him. Then Gove screwed him 2/10 edition.cnn.com/2019/10/26/uk/…
That paved the way for May to take the reins. The problem was, she needed to prove her Brexit credentials. Instead of starting talks with the EU, she spent months marching around doing her "no deal better than a bad deal" nonsense 3/10 edition.cnn.com/2019/10/26/uk/…
Read 10 tweets
28 Sep 19
Is Boris taking Brexit seriously? Given the Week In Brexit, this seemed worth asking. The view that Boris and co are stuck in campaign mode is done no favours by senior government sources talking about the "upcoming election" 1/9 edition.cnn.com/2019/09/28/uk/…
In Brussels, they are not remotely convinced Boris wants a deal. EU source: "The populist language stuff and attacking female Labour MPs is not exactly helpful if your primary aim is to get a deal through Parliament, is it?" 2/9 edition.cnn.com/2019/09/28/uk/…
What about the UK's proposals and Barclay's visit? "The papers they sent were empty. If he was serious, then he would have serious proposals and hordes of people over here. It's a sham negotiation" 3/9 edition.cnn.com/2019/09/28/uk/…
Read 9 tweets

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