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Why Britain should welcome Trump.

Image Credit: Getty Images By Andrew Hammond, Special to Gulf News,Thinker

The Labour Party [in the United Kingdom] is, of course, entitled to espouse all manner of puerile and backward-looking ideas. That is their privilege as a kind of glorified Momentum-based protest group. But in opposing the visit of the president of the United States to this country, they risk actually damaging the national interest.

From Jeremy Corbyn downwards, Labour figures have been fulminating against what should be a routine event in the diplomatic calendar. So let me give them some facts.

Donald Trump is the elected president of the world's most powerful democracy - a country that also happens to be our closest ally.

He was voted into office by millions of Americans - on the whole good and kindly people with whom we are connected by ties of friendship and blood and with whom we have a most extraordinary economic relationship.

In 2016 the people of the United States not only elected Donald Trump; they bought AaAaAeA 100 billion of British goods and services. That is mo than twice what we sold to Germany - our second biggest export market. A fifth of all we sell overseas goes to America.

So when Labour rails against "Donald Trump's America" they might remember these same freedom-loving Americans bought 200,000 British cars, including 114,000 Jaguar Land Rovers - sustaining 40,000 jobs in our superb factories in the West Midlands.

And Labour might curb its instinctive anti-Americanism to reflect that US companies have invested AaAaAeA 250 billion in this country, far more th any other overseas investor, and that 7,500 US companies in this country collectively employ 1.2 million people.

It is a swollen throbbing two-way transatlantic pipeline of jobs and goods and services - assisted by what is unquestionably a strong US economy. As an economic relationship with a single country, we have nothing else like it. So when Jeremy Corbyn dismisses that partnership and says there is nothing particularly important about it ("no, I think there are many important relationships", he burbles) the Labour leader betrays not only his anti-Americanism but also his ignorance of our economic interests.

That commercial relationship is mirrored in the commitment between Britain and America to our own mutual security, and that of the world.

It was important and useful that Theresa May was one of the first leaders to have talks with President Trump. It is thanks in part to those US-UK conversations that the Trump administration continues with the all-important Nato security guarantee.

That means the people of the US maintain the commitment to the safety from aggression that was in my lifetime held hostage by Soviet Communism.

That is a great thing. It is a noble thing. It is a commitment to Nato and to the world for which the American administration deserves respect and recognition - not infantile denigration. As for the notion that the White House has ordered some kind of American retreat from global affairs - the facts suggest the opposite.

Trump's White House has shown a new willingness to get stuck in, to help end the tragedy of Syria. Where previously the world had refused to respond to [Bashar Al] Assad's use of chemical weapons, Trump acted. When Al Assad massacred children with sarin at Khan Sheikhoun, Trump retaliated by destroying a substantial part of the Syrian air force. I didn't hear Jeremy Corbyn say much about that.

Britain and America have fought to crush Daesh [the self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant] in Iraq and Syria, and though we cannot be so complacent as to claim the struggle is over, we have destroyed the caliphate - not the behaviour of an isolationist America.

Today I welcome Rex Tillerson, my counterpart, to London. Even if we don't agree on everything, we will work together on the problems of the world. Last week in Vancouver we took a common position on the risk of a nuclear-armed North Korea. Today we will discuss how to bring an end to the war in Yemen.

Our partnership transcends economics, or foreign policy, or the invisible skein of shared intelligence. It is about shared values. One would have thought the values of freedom and democracy were shared by Labour.

Instead they rant and fume about "Trump's America" - yet maintain a contemptible silence about real abuses of human rights in left-wing Venezuela.

Trump has had successful visits to France, Germany, Japan, China, and elsewhere. It is right that we should welcome him here, and it is time for Labour to end their Spartist agitations.
Chuck it, Corbyn.

- The Telegraph Group Limited, London 2018

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jan 21, 2018
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