Brexiteer May gets lip-service from Trump and Turkish promises from Erdogan

Washington D.C., 27 January 2017. The British Prime Minister Teresa May and the US President Donald Trump held a joint press conference after their meeting at the White House. (Foto: UK Government work).

Washington D.C., 27 January 2017. The British Prime Minister Teresa May and the US President Donald Trump held a joint press conference after their meeting at the White House. (Foto: UK Government work).

The rush announcement of a fabulous trade deal with the US, which ,Teresa May, the British Prime Minister sought last week in Washington D.C., didn’t materialize. As for the much advertised ‘special relationship’ between the US and Britain, it will bear no economic meaning whatsoever, at least in the foreseeable future. The governing Brexiteers in London desperately look for somewhere to lean on after they dragged their country out of the EU, to set sail alone in rough high seas. Donald Trump seemed ready to offer mere tokens, like a very brief hand holding, which his guest can’t easily sell to her internal audience. May is the first foreign leader who the newly installed tenant received in the White House.

Such meaningless gestures though, do not impress mainland Europeans, who are ready to decisively get rid of Britain once and for all. Undoubtedly, the cost to Britain will be much larger than what the EU will lose after Brexit. May, however, might have believed the Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, who promised to replace Europe as a trade partner of Britain. Let’s take one thing at a time.

Hollow promises

All the experts agree that a future US – Britain free trade deal, if and when it is to be applied, cannot offer even a small fraction of the economic weight, which the EU internal market did for the British economy in general and the London City financiers in particular. Actually, what Trump promised was that Britain is to keep the trade arrangement the UK already has as an EU full member state. On top of that, Britain is a European economy with strong social, environmental and public health protection features, which will certainly create overwhelming problems in drafting a bilateral free trade deal with Trump’s America. As for the geostrategic aspect, it’s not a secret that during the past many decades Britain – despite some intelligence sharing that the US carefully controls – was considered by Washington as a compliant subordinate state, watching for the American interests in Europe.

Last Friday, controlled and cautious Teresa May, when meeting with unpredictable, uninhibited and impulsive Donald Trump, surely didn’t discuss only what elusively bonds their two countries. The British PM raised the Moscow ‘question’ and told her interlocutor that Putin’s resurgent Russia constitutes a escalating threat for the West. She also told him that the days of the joint American-British interventions to sovereign countries are over. It’s not at all sure if Trump agreed to all that. Their common political origin from the populist platform of anti-globalization and anti-establishment is not enough to offer fertile ground for a productive new partnership. The opposite is probably true. Their populist rhetoric prevents them from being generous and open.

Trade in detail

In detail now, it’s highly improbable that Trump would grant free access to the US market for cars or Rolls-Royce aircraft engines produced in Britain. In reality, a further reduction of the already minimal import duties will mean nothing to Britain. On top of that, the US is the only advanced industrial country, where Britain exports to a bit more than it imports from. So, given this state of affairs in their trade balance, the US is the party justified to demand further trade concessions from Britain, not the other way around.

In reality then, May’s trip to meet Trump was more of a desperate cry for help in her difficult divorce procedure with the EU, rather than a real prospect for a good trade deal for Britain. Unfortunately, May only got President’s praise for her country having voted for Brexit. At this point, Trump didn’t miss the opportunity to praise himself once more, for having correctly predicted the outcome of the June 2016 referendum.

In conclusion then, the British PM got a lot of empty words about this void of content ‘special relationship’, but not a solid promise or clear remark concerning the much wanted free trade agreement. According to an announcement by May’s spokeswoman late last Saturday, all Trump promised was that Britain will have the same trade regime with the US after leaving the EU as of today, still being an EU full member state! This means Britain cannot expect from the US more than it already has. Strangely enough, the PM’s aide meant it as a major gain!

Turkish support

As it turned out, May got more from Turkey, where she flew directly from the US on Saturday. Her spokeswoman stated that this odd country is ready to set up a working group to prepare a free trade deal with Britain right away. Undoubtedly, this is a standard Turkish lip service and all together it’s much less than what Downing Street expected from last week’s trips around half the globe. As for the hand holding between Trump and May, it cost nothing to the American and will offer her very little comfort at home. Not to forget, that she will be obliged to pass her hard Brexit proposal in an overwhelmingly hostile Parliament.

After the final ruling of the British Supreme Court, the government is obliged to get the Parliament’s approval for the country to exit from the European Union. This has to be done soon, if London is to honor its pledges to the other EU member states, so that the Brexit application will officially reach Brussels in March. The problem is that the vast majority of the MPs are well known Brimainers. It will be very strange if they will just succumb to the result of the referendum, without discussing and even formulating the kind and the terms of the Brexit their government is to negotiate with mainland Europeans.

The Parliament test

Already, there is strong criticism of May’s trip to the US. Both British and other European political leaders scorned her for ‘selling’ Britain cheaply to the Americans. May, with her trip to the US, aimed at something much more tangible than a hand holding and a reassurance about the ‘special relation’. She desperately and urgently needs concrete support from Trump’s US, in order to strengthen her card in the Commons and the negotiations table in Brussels. Instead of that, what she brought back home yesterday to Downing Street was Erdogan’s reassurance that he will start ‘buying British’. Is this a help or a political burden?

Certainly, Teresa May’s trips around half the globe last week are the latest stopovers of her hasten round of official visits to get pledges about future trade deals. Alas, every first year student of international relations knows that if it’s the need that knocks on the door, the answer is usually ‘no’. If it’s a ‘yes’ it may turn out to be even more costly. And May is now learning this lesson the hard way.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Featured Stings

TTIP wins Merkel’s endorsement ahead of 2016 tough deadline

The Commission sees ‘moderate recovery’ but prospects deteriorate

Why the ECB had to clarify it caters for the entire Eurozone not just Germany?

EU accused of being too nice with Gazprom in the infamous antitrust case

EU-US to miss 2015 deadline and even lose Germany’s support in TTIP’s darkest week yet

Is a full course lunch, a new Commissioner and 2 million anti-TTIP citizens what you would call a “Fresh Start”?

ECB readies itself for extraordinary monetary measures defying Germany

Austerity lovers to put a break on Renzi’s growth vision for Europe? the Sting reports live from World Economic Forum 2015 in Davos

More billions needed to help Eurozone recover; ECB sidesteps German objections about QE

One Day in Beijing

EU signs with Canada historic trade agreement, others to follow

GREXIT final wrap-up: nobody believed Aesop’s boy who cried wolf so many times

COP21 Breaking News: “There is an ecological debt that the world needs to pay back to Africa”, French President Francois Hollande promises 2 Billion euros by 2020 from Paris

Europe united in not supporting a US attack on Syria

Migration crisis: how big a security threat it is?

Does the world have strong enough institutions to handle risks like Trump and Brexit?

Commission’s feeble response to financial benchmarks fraud

Obama turns the G20 summit into warmongering platform

The Chinese spirit

Refugee crisis: Commission proposes a new plan urging EU countries to help Italy

Entrepreneurship’s key to success showcased by a serial young entrepreneur

On European immigration: Europe’s Missing Citizens

Does the Commission subsidise a forced labour scheme in Britain?

Doctors vs. Industry 4.0: who will win?

Is Data Privacy really safe seen through Commissioner’s PRISM?

European Business Summit 2014 : The Sting Report, Day II – Business, Politics and EBS 2015

ECB to support only banks not Peoples

Half of Eurozone in deflation expecting salvation from monetary measures

Quantitative easing: how Mario can tackle low inflation in Eurozone

France fails again the exams. Kindly requested to sit in on Commission’s class

Syria: Why did the US now take the Russian offer for a truce? What next?

Will Turkey abandon the refugee deal and risk losing a bonanza of money?

YO!FEST ENGAGES 8,000 YOUNG EUROPEANS IN FUTURE OF EU

Global Citizen-Volunteer Internships

Why the 33,000 staff European Commission did not have a real contingency plan for the refugee crisis?

Microsoft’s YouthSpark: a kiss of Life to European Youth from the European Parliament

The ASEAN Community sees the light: the genesis of a new powerful economic and political bloc and EU’s big opportunity

Is a deal over EU budget possible today?

EU: Turkey to shelter Syrian refugees and turn other immigrants back in return of €3 billion

The increasing drug prices in Europe

EU Commission: Once in every 20 beef meals you eat…horse probably with drugs in it

France and Poland to block David Cameron’s plans on immigration

The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: “Chinese economy has great potential, resilience and ample space for policy adjustment”, China’s Vice President Li Yuanchao reassures from Davos

Intel @ European Business Summit 2014: Better decisions now, the new business dashboard 

Me and China

GSMA Mobile 360: Connecting Cities, Connecting Lives, Connecting Europe

Banking Union: ECOFIN and Parliament ready to compromise

A very good morning in European markets

EU Commission challenges Berlin by proposing breakthrough legislation on banks

Advocate General ‘outlaws’ Data Retention Directive

Gloomy new statistics signify no end to Eurozone’s economic misery

Will Brexit shatter the EU or is it still too early to predict?

Why banks escape from competition rules but not pharmaceutical firms

Human rights in Brussels and in Beijing: a more balanced approach needed

The Americans are preparing for the next financial crisis

While EU Open Days 2013 discuss the 2020 strategy, Microsoft shares a glimpse of EU 2060

Paris agreed with Berlin over a loose and ineffective banking union

IMF’s Lagarde to Peoples of the world: You have to work more for the banks!

A few, or rather two, trade and economic alliances may rule our brave new world

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s