AMERICA, OUR SAVIOUR?

I find John Bolton, the US whatever-he-is, deeply creepy. That wildly excessive moustache. What’s he hiding in there? Always looks thoroughly pissed off with everything. Mind you – he works for trump. Probably, he is pissed off. On the other hand, he’s making loadsa money as the what-ever-he is.

There is much chat going on, with bozo the PM adding his two cents’ worth, about the mighty trade deal that we will be doing with the USA after breaksit. There has to be a very big question mark about this, which everyone should be asking in case there’s a public attitude brewing which says “don’t worry about a no-deal biscuit – the USA will ride to the rescue”. The question is: what’s in it for the USA? Is the USA economy in such a parlous state that doing a trade-tariff deal with Britain will be a huge relief to everyone there? Reality check: Britain might need the USA (again, i.e., two World Wars) but the USA certainly does not need Britain. Never has.

Britain, economically, compared to the really big fish that the US has to fry, is a tiddler. Well, perhaps a little larger than that, but compared to what the US has to handle with China, India, Russia and the EU, and the other emerging economies, Britain would be an also-ran without the trade-tariff protection of the EU. OK – the UK is either the fifth or the sixth-largest economy in the world (India breathing down our neck) but that ranking hides the fact that in terms of actual size, the UK is not all that impressive. Look at this chart:

We are one-seventh the size of the US. China’s economy is almost five times as big as ours. That’s what really matters. And, in passing, just looking at the top 10, add the projected numbers for 2020 for EU countries only, and the GDP is about 13 trillion $US, which would put the EU in third place. Add those EU countries not in the top 10, and the EU is just possibly second.

If the US does a separate trade deal with the UK, this in no way affects the deal it has with the EU already. That continues unchanged. So, I repeat the question: what does the US gain to any meaningful extent by doing a separate trade deal with the UK? Frankly, I don’t know, and none of the economists or political scientists I have consulted knows, either. Does it have something to do with the so-called Special UK-US Relationship which in itself is based on smoke and mirrors, and possibly on the fact that the Americans speak a language that is vaguely related to English? There isn’t anything else of substance to explain it.

Britain has, historically, punched above its weight. As a Euro-power, it has been at the top of many tables and still aspires to sit at more. (But we won’t, for long, I venture to suggest, while we appoint the likes of boris j and dominic raab as Foreign Secretary). Or with a Prime Minister, the same boris, who is doing his best to be as isolationist as possible, turning his back on and generally insulting his nearest neighbours in the hope that they will still be besties with us. And trying to cosy up to trump and bolton, an anxious poodle desperate for his tummy to be scratched.

All this because Cameron lost his bottle in 2015. What hope?