Trump has Several Self-Interested Reasons for Supporting a “Hard Brexit”

Trump extended serious support for a so-called “hard Brexit”.

The President said that the Brexit accord that Prime Minister May negotiated with Brussels might preclude the UK from reaching a free trade agreement with the US, which could doom her “soft Brexit” deal in parliament early next month when it goes to lawmakers for approval and inevitably pave the way for its “hard” variant to enter into force instead. What Trump’s obviously trying to do is shape the political situation in one of America’s allies, or to put it another way, “meddle” in its affairs. He attempted this over the summer when he made similar remarks in what could have been interpreted at the time as a signal of his approval for a “deep state” coup by Boris Johnson against May, which clearly didn’t work out like some might have expected. Now, however, he’s going for the kill by making sure that parliament sinks May’s “soft Brexit” deal and ruins her political career after “gently nudging” them in that direction by reminding them of how her accord imperils a future free trade agreement with the US.

Just like over the summer, however, it remains to be seen whether the second time’s the charm and Trump will succeed in his efforts, but regardless of the eventual outcome, it’s important to explain why he’s even doing this in the first place. Not only does he want to strike a free trade deal with one of the world’s largest economies, but he also has ideological motivations in pushing for a “hard Brexit” because it would prevent the EU from leeching off of its former member and therefore make it comparatively weaker after their “divorce”. Trump hates everything that the EU stands for, and while he’d certainly experience a degree of schadenfreude if this happened, he also knows that it would further strain the EU’s post-Brexit intra-organizational unity and make it more likely that the Polish-led “Three Seas Initiative” could make progress in reforming the bloc along the lines of a more sovereignty-supporting collection of nation states. This would simultaneously advance Trump’s ideological agenda while also making it more difficult for China to take advantage of US-EU trade tensions.

To explain the latter point, Beijing is working closely with Berlin to preserve the Liberal-Globalist world order that Hillary was supposed to inherit in 2016 but which Trump has since systematically worked towards dismantling to the best of his ability thus far, and the US has an overriding strategic interest in preventing a future EU-Chinese free trade deal from being clinched in Brexit’s aftermath. Such a scenario would immediately make an EU-US free trade agreement, tentatively titled the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), an impossibility while simultaneously strengthening the New Silk Road and the emerging Multipolar World Order in general. The solution, as Trump sees it, is to cut the UK off completely from the EU through a “hard Brexit” while working behind the scenes to support Poland and its allies in their efforts to “decentralize” the bloc, which his strategists believe could hinder the ongoing efforts to reach a free trade agreement between the EU and China. It’s an ambitious plan, but if Trump’s “hard Brexit” gamble succeeds, then he might be able to pull off the rest.


By Andrew Korybko
Source: Oriental Review

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