As Donald Trump puts his team together in the US it seems that ex-UKIP leader Nigel Farage has been chosen as a go-between with the UK government. This has obviously upset the Tory government and Theresa May has so far refused to give Nigel Farage any role. It is not clear why the incoming US president has chosen someone outside of the UK government to be his go-between but it seems Nigel Farage gets on extremely well with Donald Trump. So what does it all mean?
Is Donald Trump playing games?
We can count on one hand the number of worldwide leaders who backed Donald Trump in his presidential election campaign. It is common knowledge that many, with Nicola Sturgeon a particular critic, came out with an array of highly inflammatory comments regarding what we now know to be the next president of the United States of America. There is no doubt that Donald Trump is looking to pay back those who doubted him and criticised him in public. He has an ego and reputation for taking no prisoners and not forgetting those who ridiculed him.
Whether he would risk demeaning the position of president of the United States of America by playing games with the country’s “oldest ally” remains to be seen.
While the UK government may not like dealing with Nigel Farage it seems that he is currently head of the list of UK politicians with any influence in America. The reality is that it won’t be long before he makes a mistake and is quickly jettisoned by team Trump but at this moment in time he does seem to hold some sway. The UK government needs to nail down a long-term trading relationship with the USA as soon as possible. The longer the government leave these negotiations the further down the list of trade partners the UK will fall and the more uncertainty for the UK economy.
There are also high hopes that the UK government can use US trade negotiations to improve any potential deal with the European Union. The European Union sells far more goods to the UK than the UK sells back to the European Union so why would European authorities look to ruin this relationship?
The world is changing
If the US government goes ahead with a promise to introduce a form of protectionism this could spread like a disease around the world. If any government introduces protectionism then others would be forced to follow to protect their own economy, employment markets and businesses. There are some hopes that Donald Trump will not be as aggressive with this particular subject as he seemed to indicate in his election campaign but you never know exactly what he is thinking!
It is also worth noting that the world is changing for the USA, a new president not wholly accepted around the world and a budding relationship with Russia which could put NATO under threat. Nigel Farage may be grabbing some headlines at this moment in time but his life as an “advisor” to Donald Trump will likely be short lived. History shows us that while he is the “Teflon kid” when it comes to scandals and controversy, he does find it difficult to hold down any positions of influence.