TIME: 18:00 – 19:00, 28th June 2017
VENUE: Committee Room 19, House of Commons, Palace of Westminster, London, SW1A 0AA
SPEAKER: Dr Ted Malloch
Event Chair: Timothy Stafford, Research Director, The Henry Jackson Society
Timothy Stafford: Ladies and gentleman welcome my name is Timothy Stafford I am the Director of Research at The Henry Jackson Society. We are delighted to have you here today and we are also delighted to have Ted Malloch join us, the CEO of Global Fiduciary Governance. He has had very experienced positions across international borders, having previously been on the executive board of the World Economic Forum, taught at Oxford University, done lots of consulting, earned his Ph.D. in international political economy, currently teaches at a university here in the UK and he is going to address a topic which I think is central to all of our teaching, it always is but particularly so at the current time which is UK/US relations and the special relationship, both the history of it and I hope when we get to the questions and answers session the future of it as well. I am also going to introduce James Rogers later on who is the new Director of Henry Jackson Society’s Global Britain program which looks at what Britain’s role in the word should be once Brexit is completed. So James will give a few extra additional comments on the British perspective on where we stand with US/UK relations but without further ado, Mr Malloch please the parliamentary floor is yours.
Ted Malloch: Thank you for inviting me to this special place and this room. As a American it is a particular honour to be speaking to a society that has Scoop Jackson’s name in its title, Senator, which some of us still hold in very high regard because he represents a degree of thinking and a kind of bi-partisanship which has become quite rare in Washington DC these days. But I am not here to commemorate Scoop Jackson I am here to talk about the subject at hand so if you allow me for about 25 minutes or so to give you my thoughts on the subject we can then engage in a more fruitful back and forth which I am quite willing to do.
The ‘Special Relationship’ is of course a phrase used to describe the exceptionally close political, diplomatic, cultural, economic, military and historical relations between the United Kingdom and the United States, following its first use in a 1946 speech by British statesman Winston Churchill.
Although both the United Kingdom and United States have close relationships with many other nations, with some multi-lateral organisations, the level and cooperation between them in economic activity, trade and commerce, military planning, execution of military operations, nuclear weapons technology and intelligence sharing, has been described as and I quote “unparalleled” among major powers. The question I think we need to put to ourselves: AB (after Brexit) is: Will it remain as such?
Arguably this special relationship has and could have bearing on liberty not only in the Anglo-American sphere but also in all the places around the world that are still influenced by civil society which I think the UK and the US represent.
The United Kingdom and United States have been close allies in numerous military and political conflicts, including World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Cold War, the Gulf War, the Iraq War and the Afghanistan War.
A poster from World War I, showing Britannia arm-in-arm with Uncle Sam, symbolises the Anglo-American alliance. It shows a profound Churchillian influence that has undergirded the relationship ever since. But again the question I want to raise is what will it look like in 2025, 2030 or 2050 or by the end of the century?
Although the special relationship between the United Kingdom and the United States was most famously emphasised by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, its existence had been recognised already since the 19th century, not least by rival powers. Their troops had been fighting side by side—sometimes spontaneously—in skirmishes overseas since as early as 1859, and the two democracies shared a common bond of sacrifice in World War I.
Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald’s visit to the United States in 1930 confirmed his own belief in what was not yet termed ‘special relationship’, and for this reason he looked to the Washington Treaty rather than a revival of the Anglo-Japanese alliance as the guarantee of peace even in the Far East. However, as the historian David Reynolds observed: ‘for most of the period since 1919, Anglo-American relations have actually been cool and often suspicious. “A side of the story which is not often told.
America’s “betrayal” of the League of Nations was only the first in a series of US actions—over war debts, naval rivalry, the 1931 Manchurian crisis and the Depression—that convinced British leaders that the United States could not be relied on. Can it be relied on today into the future?
As President Truman’s secretary of state, the famous Dean Acheson, recalled: “of course a unique relation existed between Britain and America—our common language and history ensured that. But unique did not mean affection. The US had fought England as an enemy as often as it had fought by her side as an ally.”
Arguably however, the fall of France in 1940 was decisive in shaping the pattern of international politics, leading the special relationship to displace the entente cordiale, as the pivot of the international system. During World War II, as an observer noted, “Great Britain and the United States integrated their military efforts to a degree unprecedented among major allies in the history of warfare.” Each time I must choose between you and Roosevelt,’ Churchill shouted at General Charles de Gaulle, leader of the Free French, in late 1945, ‘I shall choose Roosevelt.’
Churchill’s mother of course was American, and he felt keenly the links between the English-speaking peoples. He first used the term ‘special relationship’ in 1945 to describe not the Anglo-American relationship alone, but the United Kingdom’s relationship with both the United States and Canada. The New York Times Herald quoted Churchill in November 1945:
“We should not abandon our special relationship with the United States and Canada about the atomic bomb and we should aid the United States to guard this weapon as a sacred trust for the maintenance of peace.”
Churchill used the phrase again a year later, at the onset of the Cold War, this time to note the special relationship between the United States on the one hand, and the English-speaking nations of the British Commonwealth and Empire under the leadership of the United Kingdom still on the other. The occasion was his famous ‘Sinews of Peace Address’ in Fulton, Missouri, on 5 March 1946, a speech that I think goes down in history as one of his greatest and I quote him:
“Neither the sure prevention of war, nor the continuous rise of world organisation will be gained without what I have called the fraternal association of the English-speaking peoples …a special relationship between the British Commonwealth and Empire and the United States of America.”
In the opinion of one international relations specialist: ‘the United Kingdom’s success in obtaining US commitment to cooperation in the postwar world was a major triumph, given the isolation of the interwar period. A senior British diplomat in Moscow at the time, Thomas Brimelow, admitted: ‘The one quality which most disquiets the Soviet government is the ability which they attribute to us to get others to do our fighting for us … they respect not us, but our ability to collect friends.’ Of course the big friend was none other than the United States. Conversely, ‘the success or failure of United States foreign economic peace aims depended almost entirely on its ability to win or extract the co-operation of Great Britain’.
Reflecting on the symbiosis a term that is often used to describe this relationship, a later champion, former prime minister, Margaret Thatcher, notably declared: ‘The Anglo-American relationship has done more for the defence and future of freedom than any other alliance in the history of the world.’
The intense level of military co-operation between the United Kingdom and United States began with the creation of the Combined Chiefs of Staff in December 1941, a military command with authority over all American and British operations. Following the end of the Second World War the joint command structure was disbanded, but close military cooperation between the nations resumed in the early 1950s with the start of the Cold War.
Since the Second World War and the subsequent Berlin Blockade, the United States has maintained substantial forces in Great Britain. In July 1948, the first American deployment began with the stationing of B-29 bombers. Currently, an important base is the radar facility, part of the US Ballistic Missile Early Warning System.
During the Cold War, critics of the special relationship jocularly referred to the United Kingdom as the “biggest aircraft carrier in the world.”
Following the end of the Cold War, which was the main rationale for their presence, the number of US facilities in the United Kingdom actually elsewhere in Europe to have been reduced in number in line with the US military worldwide. Despite this, these bases have been used extensively in support of various peacekeeping and offensive operations of the 1990s and early 21st century.
The two nations also jointly operate on the British military facilities of Diego Garcia in the British Indian Ocean Territory and on Ascension Island, a dependency of Saint Helena in the Atlantic Ocean.
The Quebec Agreement of 1943 paved the way for the two countries to develop atomic weapons side by side, the United Kingdom handing over vital documents from its own Tube Alloys project and sending a delegation to assist in the work of the Manhattan Project. The United States later kept the results of the work to itself under the postwar McMahon Act, but after the United Kingdom developed its own thermonuclear weapons, the United States agreed to supply delivery systems, designs and nuclear material for British warheads through the 1958 US-UK Mutual Defense Agreement.
The United Kingdom purchased first Polaris and then the American Trident system, which remains in use today. The 1958 agreement gave the United Kingdom access to the facilities at the Nevada Test Site, and from 1963 it conducted underground tests there before the cessation of testing in 1991. The agreement under which this partnership operates was updated in 2004. The United States and the United Kingdom jointly conducted subcritical nuclear experiments in 2002 and 2006, to determine the effectiveness of existing stocks, as permitted under the 1998 Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.
The United Kingdom is the only collaborative, or Level One, international partner in the largest US aircraft procurement project in history, the F-35 Lightning II program.
A cornerstone of the special relationship is the collecting and sharing of intelligence. (although there was a hiccup this year) This originated during World War II with the sharing of code breaking knowledge and led to the 1943 BRUSA Agreement, signed at Bletchley Park. After World War II the common goal of monitoring and countering the threat of communism prompted the UK-USA Security Agreement of 1948. This agreement brought together the SIGINT organisations of the USA, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand and is still in place today. The head of the CIA station in London attends each weekly meeting of the British Joint Intelligence Committee.
One present-day example of such cooperation is the UK/USA Community, comprising the National Security Agency, the United Kingdom’s Government Communications Headquarters, Australia’s Defence Signals Directorate and Canada’s Communications Security Establishment collaborating on ECHELON, a global intelligence gathering system. Under classified bilateral accords, UK/USA members do not spy on each other.
Following the discovery of the 2006 transatlantic aircraft plot, the CIA began to assist the Security Service (MI5) by running its own agent networks in the British Pakistani and Asian community. Security sources estimate 40 per cent of CIA activity to prevent a terrorist attack in the United States involves operations inside the United Kingdom. One intelligence official commented on the threat against the United States from British Islamists: ‘The fear is that something like this would not just kill people but cause a historic rift between the US and the UK.’
The United States is the largest source of foreign direct investment to the United Kingdom; likewise the United Kingdom is the largest single foreign direct investor in the United States. British trade and capital have been important components of the American economy since its colonial inception. In trade and finance, the special relationship has been described as ‘well-balanced’, with London’s ‘light-touch’ regulation in recent years attracting a massive outflow of capital from New York.
The key sectors for British exporters to the United States are aviation, aerospace, commercial property, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and heavy machinery. British ideas, classical and modern, have also exerted a profound influence on US economic policy, most notably the historian Adam Smith on free trade and the economist John Maynard Keynes on counter-cyclical spending, while the British government has adopted workfare reforms from the United States.
American and British investors share entrepreneurial attitudes towards the housing market, and the fashion and music industries of each country are major influences on their counterparts. Trade ties have been strengthened by globalisation, while both governments agree on the need for currency reform in China and educational reform at home to increase their competitiveness against developing service industries. In 2007 the US ambassador suggested to British business leaders that the special relationship could be used ‘to promote world trade and limit environmental damage as well as combating terrorism’.
Arguably the special relationship is all about personal relationships. The relationship often depends on the personal relations between British prime ministers and US presidents. The first example was the close relationship between Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt, who were in fact distantly related.
Prior to their collaboration during World War II Anglo-American relations had been somewhat frosty. President Woodrow Wilson and Prime Minister David Lloyd George in Paris had been the only previous leaders to meet face-to-face, but had enjoyed nothing that could be described as a special relationship, although Lloyd George’s wartime Foreign Secretary, Arthur Balfour, got on well with Wilson during his time in the United States and helped convince the previously sceptical president to enter the war.
Churchill spent much time and effort cultivating the relationship, which paid dividends for the war effort although it cost Britain much of her wealth and ultimately her empire. The architecture of the special relationship is practical, revolving around shared goals. It has not always worked well. For instance, Harold Wilson’s government would not commit troops to Vietnam. Harold Wilson and Lyndon Johnson did not get on especially well.
Peaks in the special relationship include the bonds between Harold Macmillan (who like Churchill had an American mother) and John F. Kennedy, of course, between Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan, and more recently between Tony Blair and both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. Nadirs have included Dwight D. Eisenhower’s opposition to UK operations in Suez under Anthony Eden and Wilson’s refusal to enter the war in Vietnam.
The links that were created during the Second World War—such as the UK military liaison officers posted to Washington—persist. However for Britain to gain any benefit from the relationship it became clear, that a constant policy of personal engagement was required. Britain, starting off in 1941, as somewhat the senior partner, had found herself the junior. The diplomatic policy was thus two pronged, encompassing strong personal support and equally forthright military and political aid.
These two have always operated in tandem, that is to say, the best personal relationships between British prime ministers and American presidents have always been those based on such understanding. Most recently these have waned, as we recently read the Atlantic magazine account of what Barrack Obama really thought of former PM David Cameron. We could speculate on the relationship between our leaders Theresa May and Donald Trump but I won’t, except to say they got off to a good start. Their first, Washington Summit was what I called in the press,” the best first date, ever.” They need each other and after Brexit there is renewed interest and support for the special relationship. But it appears another PM will have to step in to the void given the results of the snap election and it is difficult to speculate who that will be or when. However it is—the UK needs US backing, support and a bilateral trade deal mow more than ever before.
It is however proper to ask: will this relationship survive the rest of this 21st Century? What if the world pivots east? The EU achieves supranational status? or the emerging nations finally emerge? Will the UK have the same significance it once enjoyed? Will the US be the sole superpower? Does it need a junior partner?
I would conclude by restating that our mutual and abiding interests, common worldview, congruence of sympathies, and the undeniably unique heritage of the Anglo-American tradition of liberty should be our true future together. In my view, with a shared Whig history, the King James Bible, the Anglican Church, long historical memory — all of these things make up a valuable Anglo-Atlanticist patrimony. Britain and America belong together not in Europe.
Taking up the cause of Locke and casting aside the philosophy of the European Rousseau and the practices of Bonapartism, the Brits have with America cemented their place on the side of liberty. The Anglo-Saxon rule of law and democratic spirit has triumphed over statism and the centralisation of power even as it faces new challenges.
The future will much need such Anglo-American leadership; it appears more than ever before. Perhaps, herein lie the true sinews of lasting peace. I think the relationship is strong and will last but I will leave that open to discussion.
Timothy Stafford: Thank you, perhaps I could just ask James to give a few comments on the British perspective and on what we have just heard and then we will open it up to some questions. So James…
James Rogers: Thank you, I found that presentation very interesting and I largely agree with almost all of it. I think from a British standpoint equally propelled and valid, the UK has long considered the US as its most important ally not only in a strategic sense but in the values that the US and UK have a shared heritage in holding and sustaining. I think the UK has also historically seen the US in a kind of strategic way as well in that it has been able to amplify its own power and its own influence in Europe and globally because it has had a strong relationship with the United States and it has also seen that it has been able to help empower the United States in turn by helping to maintain an orderly, peaceful Europe during the Cold War.
For example you mentioned the intelligence sharing, the shared military facilities, the unique military capabilities that the UK has held particularly in relation to its naval capabilities which we saw on Monday, the launch of the new super carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth which I think will have a profound effect on the UK’s capabilities in the future and as you said if the US is engaging more broadly in other parts of the world based on the geopolitical changes, the UK will have a role potentially to play there particularly in the Mediterranean and maybe even as far as the Gulf.
I think the UK will continue to have an international role and it will probably be pushed into it by the US and in turn it will help the US in relation to Europe. So I think largely the relationship will hold irrespective of who is in charge in London or Washington and it is a relationship found on both values and shared interests.
Timothy Stafford: Thank you James, perhaps I could just take privilege of being the chair and ask the first question. Mr Malloch you mentioned that the personal chemistry is very important and the individuals involved and I think one of the points I have always thought about the special relationship is it has tended not to matter who are the leaders of the countries. I remember having this conversation years ago and saying President Romney and Prime Minister Miliband would have had just as good as a relationship as anyone previously did depending on the times.
I suppose I want to take the question in a slightly different direction which is we have had policy disagreements before and you mentioned a lot in your presentation the more recent examples of Grenada and the Vietnam war and so on. We haven’t tended to have such amonosity amongst the British public towards a new American President, yes George Bush to a certain extent during the Iraq war, does it concern you when you look at the situation in the UK, the level of amonosity towards President Trump? For some reasons that I think many people will understand but the extent to which it was seen during the campaign but one candidate was so much more heavily favored than another. Does it concern you whilst you said in the United States the special relationship is a bi-partisan – never- but in the UK we are drifting towards a relationship where there is more partisanship about American domestic politics?
Ted Malloch: Ye so two comments. The first, while I agree there is an enduring quality surely about the US-UK special relationship which is why in fact it is so important and has gone on literally for decades and decades, the quality of that relationship does depend on very much what is invested in the chemistry of the leaders.
In the history of, this is of course in many minds, but if you look at the highest points, it takes a personality like Ronald Reagan to engage with Margaret Thatcher with the alliance and to make that relationship come to life and have a higher significance. Then there are some low points with some fall outs and some cynical comments are made or someone says Britain doesn’t have the significance it once had so therefore why should we waste so much time with this offshore Island that is leaving Europe. There is some of that attitude even in the last days of the Obama administration, a little bit of that.
In terms of the second question it is concerning to Americans generally but I would say particularly to people in the Republican Party and to the right side of the political spectrum in America when we see the American President, and we have an unusual President who is an outsider, not part of the political establishment and he ran his whole electoral campaign as someone who was going to “drain the swap and change everything” so he is not a typical politician in any regard, even the way he communicates, his political language. But when we see his head severed on magazine covers in Germany, I am not saying that has happened in the UK, or when we hear petitions being signed that he should not be invited to come even though the Queen has invited him to come to the United Kingdom, it is a bit discouraging.
I think there is a backlash in a sense in America and Americans generally feel this ungrateful attitude, resentment or that they don’t honor the American Presidency even if they have some issue or question with the Particular President. So I know his visit, at least I am told, I was in Washington two weeks ago has been postponed. It doesn’t mean that it won’t happen but I think there are issues surrounding it and the potential for a massive protest which is unwelcoming.
Timothy Stafford: Ok let’s open up to questions I am sure we will have plenty. Gentleman in the front was the first to put his hand up.
Question 1: When you was explaining the special relationship you made no mention of 1956. Do you perhaps think looking back in hindsight that Eisenhower should of perhaps should of shown more sympathy to Eden’s reputation and as a consequence the united world would be safer world inaudible…
Ted Malloch: Well if we could undo certain things which of course in history you can’t do, there was always a question of what would be redone and how it would play out, they are hypothetical questions but ye there could have been a different direction so in 1956 that would have had a different impression on, at least the course of the immediate world history. But again the time period 1956 were where we, what was we thinking 1956 was not the 1970s and certainly not the present so.
Timothy Stafford: If I could just make one additional comment I have always wondered if someone was to write a wonderful counter factual history or whether the Eden government had decided to launch the operation two weeks later after the President had secured re-election rather than surprising him in late October, whether things would have unfolded differently.
Question 2: Thank you, I would just like to say that not everybody in this country doesn’t want Donald Trump to come here I would be delighted if here came here and I am very sorry that the establishment here feel it is not a good idea. I would certainly be here to welcome him.
One thing that puzzled me was an event a few years ago in the special relationship where I felt that a young man in this country had rather done America a favor I think his name was Gary Kinnon or Gary McKinnon and he hacked into United States military computers and rather than whisk him over there and give him a job on a million dollars a year he was pursued as an enemy and that surprised me a little bit because suppose it had been somebody in Russia or somewhere who done that it could have been serious problems for you. I wonder if you could just comment on that.
Ted Malloch: I don’t know the particular case…
Question 2: Well it was reported here and he basically wanted to know about UFOs and there is a big issue about the unequal expedition treaty between the US and UK and I think May in the end managed to stop his deportation. It is a big case over here really about…
Ted Malloch: Not very well known in the US I am afraid so again one side story.
Question 3: President Trump seems almost as much a Euro-skeptic as his pal Nigel Farage and as you yourself have said is somewhat of an exception in Presidencies in recent times. Since its injection that United States has really pushed for Britain’s membership for joining and remaining in the EU. My question to you is to what extent do you think Brexit might diminish the value to America of Britain in future Presidencies or normal Presidencies?
Ted Malloch: So there are really two ends to answer that question, one of course is President Trump himself has been favorable towards Brexit, his first visitor was of course Mr Brexit after the election. He suggested his Ambassador, I think in part factiously but some people believed it and there is a sense, I mean you are correct, I can tell you first hand he has a great suspicion of multi-lateral institutions but he has a great suspicion and I think he said would never join such a super national organization. His recent visit which was of course a whirlwind tour of the Middle East and the G20 meeting also had a stop in Brussels where of course part of the day was spent with NATO which turns out not so obsolete but I think the least part of his day was spent in the European Union which he has no particular favor.
It is an interesting question though, will the UK and again I am throwing it up rhetorical in the sense, will the UK have less significance for the United States, vice versa Europe if it is not a part of the EU, if it is viewed outside, if it is not part of the body itself. It will have strong trading relationships, strong military relationships because of NATO so those don’t go away. I think the argument can possibly be made that Britain outside the EU does diminish some of its significance in the US but that is premised on a view that the EU is a supreme foreign policy organization in Europe which I think is a good presumption and was I think until Brexit. So the question, a poll released today what the Pew Foundation did about how favorable the EU is viewed in all the various member states, it seems to be an open question how favorable that view will be into the immediate future it seems to have survived the elections let’s say in the Netherlands and in France but I was in Italy 4 times in the last 6 weeks, the Italian election could give a very different result – I am not saying it will but it could give a very different result which could end up in a referendum even in Italy.
So Europe is, I don’t want to say in a period of chaos but it’s in a period where there are multiple scenarios that could be played out. Mr Juncker has 5 scenarios, I suggest you go to any one of the 27 members and unearth at least 27 more scenarios. So which scenario under which circumstance, how is Britain reacting, I think we don’t know the answers to those questions and we probably won’t know at least for the next 2 years but that doesn’t mean that the relationship with the US will be diminished. Certainly militarily, culturally, economically those things will maintain but if the US viewed and there were some politicians in the US, I worked for the senate and I worked in the state department so I can say this when I was in government there were a number of politicians who viewed the UK and the special relationship as kind of a US bridge to Europe – it could do our pleading with the Europeans, it could keep the Europeans in check, the trust level was higher. If that’s gone who will play that role and do that directly and how intense and uneasy might that be for Donald Trump or those in the Trump administration.
Timothy Stafford: Perhaps I could just pick up on that one point, your background in business, you had a lot of American business leaders in Britain during the referendum campaign to argue against inaudible… sharing a stage with George Osborne saying don’t do this. What is the sense in Wall Street and financial center of the US because obviously the special relationship with the city of London, Wall Street critical as well, what is the assessment one year in of this entire Brexit process?
Ted Malloch: They were largely shocked and surprised as where the people in the city of London. I was in a meeting in a certain bank in Canary Wharf the day before in a boardroom and I don’t want to spell out names of who but they said ‘we’re up 9 points, nothing to worry about, let’s go and have dinner.’ It didn’t turn out that way. They had obviously either mis-poled, they had not travelled out of the M25 because once you drove outside of a certain boundary there were a hell of a lot of leave signs so they got it wrong.
I think the US particularly the people on Wall Street where of the same elk and the same thinking that more or less everything would stay the same and put this issue to rest so now they are trying to deal with that there is actually some interest in the US to take advantage of the UK, if I can divulge that and say well some of these things which are done in London can be done in New York too. I mean you have heard this in Paris, you have heard this in Frankfurt, you have heard it in any number of places so if you are going to split up this pie maybe we could have a piece of this pie.
To be honest many of them have such an establishment and such a tie to the city that it is not going away. Some of them might end up here and there and in Ireland, anywhere else but you could make a lot out of that but I don’t think there is much to be made.
Question 4: Sir bearing in mind the current investigation over Trumps leaks to Russia do you think the special relationship, especially the intelligence sharing methods should be somehow modified?
Ted Malloch: I don’t think it has a great bearing on the so-called 5 ‘I’s. The real recent problem of course was the unmasking of certain information that may have been used, may not have been used, we don’t know yet for political purposes. Then there were the incidences around terrorism people basically in the US intelligence community leaked what was vital information the day of the actual event which was quite inappropriate and I think led to a strong repute by the UK government. I think that has been overcome but it did cause a wave for literally a few days. Broken trust is never a good thing.
I don’t think that, there are 4 investigations in Capital Hill and then the special prosecutor so there are no end to investigations in the United States about the degree of Russian hacking and intrusion into the US election, the possible collusion with some of the Trump transition team and now the whole question of obstruction of justice of course being brought into that by the special prosecutor. So this series of investigations is likely to last for upwards of 2 years. The American public is very tired of it, the cost is very high, I just learned the other day the special prosecutor’s budget is a hundred-million dollars. That is a hell of an investigation. The lawyers get paid $1500 an hour so if you’re not a lawyer maybe you should go back to law school because that is not a bad hourly rate.
This will go on and the news media has obviously manufactured this into a bigger story than it seems to be but I don’t think it’s affecting him on a day to day basis, very much in terms of intelligence sharing.
Question 5: The United Kingdom has a very serious political problems at the moment in forms of Brexit, the issues of Northern Ireland and its role propping up Theresa May we also have the challenge of having Jeremy Corbyn as an opposition Prime Minister, a man who is I would describe as anti-American. How could all of this lead to a disaster, worst case scenario because apart from the collapse or near collapse of the special relationship has not happened since 1973.
Ted Malloch: You could easily draw out such a scenario, I mean I don’t think it is a likely scenario but then again unlikely scenarios have happened in the last two years in any number of theatres so if there were a Labor government with Prime Minister Corbyn who seems to be a nuclear pacifist, at least that his is ideology, how that would affect the defense establishment. This is something that is quite concerning to the American establishment particularly the defense establishment, the degree of anti-Americanism in terms of rhetoric is very high, whether that would be kind of lowered a tone or two or notch or two in terms of actual engagement would have to be discovered.
Which goes back to my point, the nature of the parties is also important because if you don’t have parties that are ideologically compatible or not in conversation who don’t have these deep shared values that we actually talk about constantly and they are very important and we have to remember them. We need to do that work of education and re-education every generation but yeah the whole thing becomes rather perilous and you could see it eroding even banishing in a very short period of time.
Question 6: Do you think that Trump is waiting to be popular in the UK because I don’t think it is going to happen in terms of the British left-wing same as in America, the American left-wing is never going to take to him. The British left-wing are very happy to campaign about Trump but don’t say a dickey bird about Erdogan locking up 60,000 people, it is a complete hypocrisy so he is never going to get that sort of warm feeling from a minority of the British public. Whether he is happy to do it or not happy to do it doesn’t make a difference to us, I would personally like to see him come over but he is waiting for the wrong thing because he is never going to be popular with the British left as he won’t be popular with the American left either.
Ted Malloch: Yeah, I think he is fully attuned to that, people around him he said it himself the media are the opposition so he has accepted that whole thing he said BBC was fake news and had less kind words for CNN. Even more recently I don’t know if you saw the symbol of CNN that was put up the other day – FNN – Fake News Network.
He actually made a speech in the rose garden the other day which was about leaving the Paris agreement and on record he said I am the President of Pittsburgh not Paris. I know he wrote that line but it is actually a sentiment that he feels very strongly and he has no pretense to be the Mayor of London. He doesn’t even see himself as quite the leader of the free world in the same sense that other American Presidents have done.
He has had his first G7 meeting now and in July he will have the G20 meeting so I think he is stepping in that role. He is having a lot bilateral meetings in the White House, he prefers the foreign leaders come to him rather than his travelling abroad although he had a very successful trip to the Middle East and a 10 day trip to certain capitals.
I think that there is no possibility that he will ever be say anywhere near as popular as Barack Obama was in Europe and I think frankly still is. He was in Milan the other day giving a speech and I am told there was 100,000 who wanted to hear him speak. I was in Milan a couple of weeks ago and Barack Obama was speaking the day after and he was payed an enormous fee to give this speech, fantastically popular in Italy even to this day. Trump doesn’t have that.
James Rogers: We talked a moment ago about the prospect as the UK withdraws from the EU that it might be less important in the eyes of Washington because it won’t be able to fulfill its role, so far the countries have both had an interest in Europe and convey interests for the European Union. Some of my German colleagues would say that actually now Germany is now going to play the new role of the UK, the relationship between Washington and Berlin is going to intensify and Britain will become even further marginalized and further insignificant. I think some of them may look at this idea with some enthusiasm and I just wondered what your idea would be on that kind of prospect, is Germany or some other country, maybe France going to become the new Britain and the UK will become even further marginalized as a result?
Ted Malloch: Again I think you could have a scenario were you could build that out. Germany is obviously the engine of economic growth in Europe, it’s a central power, it controls most of the EU in my view, it controls the European central bank. It has a prominence in Europe today that I think frankly surprises people and the relationship between the US and Germany up until recently has been very strong, there has been a very strong relationship in NATO but there hasn’t been that kind of shared values system. There isn’t the commonality around the English language, not that long shared history, there is no special relationship.
Now Obama I think did try to make Mrs Merkel his special relationship, clearly that has not continued in the Trump era. I don’t think I am overstating anything to say that the relationship from Germany and the United States is at present fairly tense. The meeting with Mrs Merkel in the Oval office was nothing like the meeting of Mrs. May in the same office. The words that have come out of their different German political mouths I would say in the last few months are very disconcerting if you take them seriously which frankly are sharply anti-American.
So I don’t think there is any prospect that it would play the same role but there is the possibility I think that Germany would try.
Question 7: Look we are facing quite a bit of anti-Americanism do you think it would be worthwhile for the UK to do a free trade with America given the nature of the PR challenge they face and concerns about the economic advantages it would have for the United Kingdom. What is your view on this UK/US FDA?
Ted Malloch: Well my view is that of the administration I was with Wilbur Ross he was with me as recently as 3 weeks ago where he basically said we want to have such an agreement whether it is a bi-sectorial agreement or I am told it could be a full fledge agreement, it could be done very quickly and certainly be in place by the time the clock rolls around later in 2019.
My view, I am not an advisor to the UK government, they need any number of these bi-lateral trade agreements and my sense is that they are out shopping and looking and talking about them in places as far afield as China, India, Turkey, you name it but the US would be primary amongst them and it is probably the easiest one to do, the one where the trading relationships and patterns are the most established, where the people know each other, there is a commonality but in this case you have a President who has basically greenlighted the whole proposal and said let’s do it in one sentence. He basically said lets go. So you need to take advantage of that and I am not suggesting you break all the EU legal ramifications about doing that but I think closed circles behind the right doors for discussions I already understand are taking place so I would be surprised if it didn’t happen.
Timothy Stafford: Something to look forward to the future.
Question 8: Thank you so much for your speech. Do you maybe have an idea how much the US uses the UK economically wise as a bridge to Europe, how it might look in a post Brexit era because you were really talking about the political bridge, how would look economically wise.
Ted Malloch: The US has always viewed the UK and I use this word cautiously, as an Atlantic island. It was always a place that was kind of a jumping off place for the US to deal with Europe and because of the commonality and the history of language it was very easy. If that mid island is taken out of the equation it doesn’t mean Britain isn’t going to be part of Europe, it is still part of Europe territorially and geographically. It will have strong trading relationships with Europe but it won’t be as bound legally to the institutions of Europe and the United States will have to do some more of that work in a direct fashion.
I happen to think that doing that on a bi-lateral basis would be easier for the US than doing it on the backburner but it is a question that we will have to see over the next few years how that evolves.
Question 8: Thank you, what I am referring to is the benefits to Europe, the benefits the European Union brings with an internal market, those kinds of things I can imagine the US has used the UK quite a lot as their gateway to Europe.
Ted Malloch: I wouldn’t be worried about the deal the UK get with the US because I think there is political will to do the right deal, it is mutually beneficial but comes to the aid of the UK at exactly the right time and then sends a signal to all kinds of other entities in the world to do the kind of Global Britain which is anticipated. Which I think is a good signal then to others that I think this is a place that is certainly worth doing business with, there is a big enough market for the investment.
I don’t think that the US in any way is going to abandon its relationship with the rest of Europe – stop trading with Europe, become anti-European that is obviously not the case. The transatlantic relationship is broader than just the relationship with the UK. I mean taken as a whole, Europe is a much bigger trading partner than the UK so it is very significant for the US.
Question 9: You mentioned the inaudible and my sense is that it is not going anywhere principally not just on Trump but a lot of Republican Senators seem to oppose it as well. What is your sense?
Ted Malloch: I think that is the right reading. The President, the very first act was to kill trans-pacific partnership he has no admiration for the European equivalent even though there has been a significant many year investment in trying to build up that conversation. So I don’t think it’s likely.
When we discussed this issue, I guess it was somewhat off the record so I don’t want to quote him but the Secretary of Congress said the very most that we can see coming out of that discussion is some secretal agreements and then he gave the example of the recent beef deal that the US did with China as an example.
Question 10: Doctor Malloch could I get your thoughts on where you think the source of the anti-Americanism coming from the European side especially but what do you think the source of that is especially on issues like T-tip for example. The European left is very much against that trade agreement, when I walk to my office every day there is a big sticker on one of the bus stops that says stop T-Tip. Then they have turned around and started calling the President fascist because he opposes inaudible… it doesn’t make any sense. You could say the same thing about any number of issues where Donald Trump is actually much closer to the European mainstream conservative Christian democrat especially compared to some of our American Republican brothers back home. There has to be something else that’s not the actual policy stances of the President.
Ted Malloch: Well anti-Americanism did not begin in the year 2016. The history of anti-Americanism is actually a pretty long volume and it probably has like 17 or 18 different chapters. I know at Yale where I taught they had a course in grand strategy for people studying international relations but they had an entire course on anti-Americanism so it is actually an academic subject one can study in some particular detail. The origins which go back maybe a century or more some of which have to do with the nature of the ideologies which were born in Europe both fascism and communism but I think it also had to do with both the turn of the culture in the cultural revolution and then particularly around cultural Europe against American intervention in South East Asia and what was brewed there and some of this has continued over into the present time period.
The other place and I have spent too many years in my long career in universities where anti-Americanism has particularly warm reception is actually the academy. You know I have been in certain UK institutions, I have also had various visiting Professorships in Germany, I have lectured at universities frankly all over Europe but as I said I was at Yale for 5 years. There is a particular character I think to the economy in the post-Vietnam period that has led to a very high degree of anti-Americanism some use it as a form of soft Marxism and it is very easy as we say in the faculty club to be anti-American, it is the fashionable thing to be. It is the politically correct thing to do, it is the easy shot so to defend America or actually make some case for America is actually the unusual thing I would say in the academy.
My very last semester I was invited to give the famous Yale political union debates, it is very well attended like 800 students and the result was, embrace American exceptionalism, very simple resolved and I was the speaker to defend American exceptionalism in front of the Yale students which is a political spectrum which is very hard left. I jokingly say the far right wing at Yale begins with Barak Obama. So after about an hour and a half of speaking, we had the vote and American exceptionalism won by 1 vote. I jokingly say at least there is some sense still in American academy but it was a close vote.
Timothy Stafford: On that note on one vote we will leave it there, we would like to thank you for coming back and please do come again in the future.
Ted Malloch: Thank you for all your good work I know you do 100 or more of these a year and I know your website and research very well and it is appreciated in policy circles and in commercial circles.
Timothy Stafford: Thank you very much and thank you all for coming.