KM Column: Trump State Visit

The partnership between the UK and the USA is known as the ‘Special Relationship’ for good reason. Over many decades, the USA has been our strongest ally and the close co-operation between our two countries underpins global security and prosperity.

The USA is the UK’s largest trading partner and US firms invest almost $700 million in the UK economy. Furthermore, this week’s moving D-Day commemorations provided a timely reminder of the historic importance of trans-Atlantic co-operation. The extraordinarily brave defence of liberty and democracy on the beaches of Normandy, by our forefathers on both sides of the pond, stood tall as the centrepiece of this week’s visit. 

More recently the USA resolutely supported us in the aftermath of the Salisbury attack and our airborne military have flown united in defeating Daesh. 

Our closeness with the US Government also provides a direct diplomatic line to persuade on issues of critical global importance, such as Climate Change.

In principle, it must be right to welcome the President of the United States to our shores for our future security, and our economic prosperity beyond Brexit.

Donald Trump’s approach to his role, however, as leader of the western world, continues to attract widespread criticism and sometimes outrage, both domestically and internationally.

His misogynistic comments, racially motivated immigration policy, attacks on the media, appeasement of the far right and extreme narcissism are idiosyncrasies that, in my opinion, are a poor example of leadership at any level and we must not be afraid to call it out.

Only time will tell if his tenure will cause any lasting damage, or if it is merely a stress-test on the constitutional checks and balances of the US and the UN.  Hopefully our Special Relationship will endure the current White House incumbent, but meanwhile we must defend the values of diversity, tolerance and inclusivity which are integral to modern Britain and vital to humanity in our vulnerable modern world.