– Boris Johnson has expressed hope that Trump will come back
Nigel Farage is more than happy to see the former prime minister yearning to return to the Republican Party. Others are concerned – especially that the British themselves are going to vote, perhaps at the same time.
Boris Johnson believes his compatriots have every reason to look forward to a second Donald Trump presidency. The former prime minister believes the new term for Trump will ultimately be a “big win for the world”.
Johnson called Trump's behavior during the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol a “horrible mistake” — and Trump should have “accepted the voters' decision with dignity.” But that doesn't mean one should be hostile to Donald Trump's second term, says Briton, whose first year on Downing Street coincided with Trump's last year in the White House. Former US President Johnson called the little “Britain Trump” at the time. “A new Trump presidency may be what the world needs right now,” Johnson says.
Theresa May's former adviser fears chaos
Other politicians and diplomats in London who have experience with Trump see things a little differently. Lord Barwell, who was chief of staff to Johnson's predecessor, Theresa May, is already warning her fellow citizens to prepare for a lot of “chaos” and “internal unrest in America” if Trump does indeed pull it back. The White House this fall.
“All the alarm bells should be ringing already,” Barwell said, in anticipation of Donald Trump cutting old NATO ties and denying all support for Ukraine and sparking new trade wars.
Tensions have spread across all major British parties following Republican primaries in Iowa and New Hampshire. Conservatives, Labor and the Liberal Democrats alike are wondering what a Trump victory will mean for their country and British politics.
Rishi Sunak stops him
Rishi Sunak's Tories, for example, feel aligned with Trump on their tough stance on immigration (read here Report on Sunak's Migration Policy), but there is little sympathy for his questionable relationship to democracy and his often confused views. Prime Minister Sunak, for his part, is cautiously reluctant to comment on Trump.
Opposition Leader Keir Starmer, the leader of the Labor Party who is seen by his fellow citizens as Britain's next leader, finds himself in a particular dilemma. He has made it no secret in the past that he wants Joe Biden back in office.
Starmer: “We have to make it work”
On the other hand, a potential prime minister cannot accept a confrontation with Britain's most important ally. So Starmer insists again and again: “We have to make it work,” and make sure it works.
Labour's foreign policy spokesman, David Lammy, will similarly be the new British foreign secretary if Labor wins the election. Of course, the same David Lammy marched in an anti-Trump demo in London in 2018. He repeatedly described the then US president as a “woman-hating sociopath who sympathizes with neo-Nazis”.
The timing of presidential elections has been an issue for both political camps in London. Because Sunak must hold fresh elections for the House of Commons before the end of the year.
And Westminster now says November 14 is the election day. But with the US election nine days before that date, it will hopelessly overshadow the British election – and all eyes on Trump's grandiose slogans and maneuvers and on Washington will largely be diverted from a key debate in the UK.
However, all British parties must now carefully consider the consequences of a new Trump victory, London's Financial Times ruled in its editorial on Thursday. In 2016, Washington's allies may have reacted with “shock and awe”: “If Trump wins again in November, this time there won't be such an excuse.” The FT said a Labor government would be under considerable pressure to work more closely with its European neighbors than it has been since Brexit.
Nigel Farage is delighted
A British politician will be particularly pleased with Trump's victory. Former Ukip leader Nigel Farage, who once again plays a key role in the right-wing nationalist wing of British politics today, wooed Trump as a super-Brexiter in 2016.
At Trump's primary election appearance in Iowa, Farage was allowed a front-row seat as the American verbally embraced the visitor from England. The presidential candidate generously told his supporters that “nice guy”, “nice guy” at least “supported him from day one”.
“I have never wavered since 2016 in my belief that the world is safer with Trump,” Farage replied. As honorary leader of the right-wing National Reform Party in Great Britain, Farage believes this year's Trump resurgence will also benefit the British right.
After all, Nigel Farage is hoping to win over Trump for exclusive interviews with British TV station GBNews, of which he is the most prominent presenter – and he wants to give him a platform in the US during the presidential election. “Britain's Trump” Boris Johnson will soon start as another presenter at the station. Trump's campaign has already sparked a wave of nostalgia and optimism on the island's political right.
Peter Nonnenmacher A correspondent reports from London.More info