US National Security Adviser Tries to Secure Stronger US-UK Link
John Bolton, the US National Security Adviser told UK policymakers on August 12th that President Trump is rooting for a successful withdrawal from the bloc at the end of October and that the US is willing to prop up the UK with a free trade deal.
With Britain’s Parliament and its people preparing and planning to depart from the European Union, perhaps the most significant geopolitical change since the Second World War, analysts and officials around the globe anticipate that the UK will become increasingly dependent on the US.
The US National Security Adviser is set to spend 48 hours in London, during which he will have discussions with various UK executives, as the two allies try to rekindle a strong relationship which was at times shaken by former Prime Minister Theresa May. The main message coming from the Trump administration is that the US is prepared to support the UK after Brexit with a free trade agreement that could salvage future business investment in the UK. Talks between Robert Lighthizer and Liz Truss are said to be focused on the potential free trade agreement between America and Britain.
Speculation has circulated that suggests Bolton could prompt ministers from Prime Minister Johnson’s newly molded cabinet to shift its policy on Iran after the Trump administration ramped up tensions by reintroducing sanctions against Iran.
The United Kingdom has stood in support of the EU in terms of remaining with the Iran nuclear deal, however, the recent incident in the Strait of Hormuz that saw a British oil tanker being seized by Iranian forces has escalated tensions between Iran, the UK and the US.
British marine forces took control of an Iranian oil tanker, on July 4th, believed to have been headed for Syria to deliver oil despite the US sanctions which prohibit such trade. In an effort to ramp up security in the Gulf of Oman and Strait of Hormuz, the UK has been sending armed military vessels to accompany British tankers on their route.
President Trump has similarly tried to encourage the UK to avoid doing business with the Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei due to increasing concerns that the new 5G network technology will be a gateway for the Chinese Government to spy on and gather valuable, classified information.
The UK’s NSC (National Security Council), came to the conclusion in April that Huawei should be barred from supplying all integral parts of the 5G network apart from minor equipment. Will the Prime Minister Johnson’s cabinet be more receptive of the support offered by the US?
Shadow Home Secretary, Diane Abbott has hinted that the Labour Party along with other opposition parties, may be preparing for a no-confidence vote in Prime Minister Johnson as soon as next month.
When asked whether the Labour Party is planning to move a vote of no-confidence against PM Johnson in an interview on BBC’s Radio 4 program, Diane Abbott said: “It’s above my pay grade to say when we will move a vote of no-confidence but who has confidence in Boris Johnson apart from the people around him. The more he announces these bogus unfunded announcements I think the less confidence there will be in him within the general public. One of the things that we have to do is consult with other parties because it’s no good moving a vote of no-confidence if the Lib Dems, for instance, are not going to vote for it. We are talking to all of the other parties in Parliament and if we move for a vote of no-confidence we want to do it with confidence that we can win it.”
As things stand with the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act, the Labour Party could move a motion of no-confidence in the Prime Minister which if approved by a majority in Parliament would give members of Parliament a 2-week opportunity to create an acceptable government; if this cannot be achieved then a general election will be triggered.
With the Brexit deadline steadily approaching, the likelihood of other parliamentary affairs arising is highly unlikely therefore tabling a motion of no-confidence in the Government is considered by some the most likely preventative measure that Labour could undertake in an attempt to block no-deal Brexit as an option.
According to Lord Wolfson, the Chief Executive Officer of Next, Britain is more than capable of sidestepping “gridlock and chaos” that could arise from a departure from the EU on October 31st without a deal due to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s increased efforts to ramp up precautionary measures that will support the nation when it leaves the bloc.
During an interview on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme the Next CEO said: “I think we’re a long way away from gridlock and chaos, and I think that the fact that the HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs) have introduced these transition measures will make an enormous difference. I think the encouraging thing also is that I think we are rapidly moving from the gridlock and chaos camp into the well-prepared camp, and to have a government and civil service that is now determinedly endeavoring to make sure that we are prepared is really important. I should stress, I would much prefer a deal to no-deal, but I’m much less frightened of no-deal if the Government is well prepared and we have every indication that they are now taking that seriously.”