May's delay over Trump visit backfires as US-EU divide grows
https://www.theguardian.com/politics/20 ... 1529522459
If Theresa May thought her favoured weapon – delay – would somehow ensure Donald Trump’s visit to the UK next month would be less controversial than if it had occurred last year, she appears to have miscalculated. Six months ago the president was plausibly an unpredictable nationalist constrained by the senior Republicans surrounding him. He had quit the UN’s climate change agreement but otherwise his foreign policy was largely a complaint that America had to pick up Europe’s tab.
On the issue of the caging of children, May, faced with a direct question in the Commons, had no option but to condemn, even though she knew it would hardly ingratiate her with a president who bears grudges and who finds her cold. Slowly her disagreements with Trump are totting up.
On the Iranian nuclear deal, trade, recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and even on the climate change deal, the UK chose the side of Brussels rather than Washington. In the words of the Foreign Office permanent secretary, Sir Simon McDonald, “when people might have thought the UK, outside or on the way out of the EU, might have chosen Uncle Sam over Uncle Jean-Claude, we have lined up very solidly with the European side of the Atlantic.”
All these divisions have so far been managed in a low-key way, with the Foreign Office voicing regret rather than anger. But the fear for the UK is that it is not just on policy that Europe and the US are divided, but on respect for what some Europeans most cherish: the liberal world order.