British public fear Donald Trump will weaken the Nato alliance, poll finds

The President-elect has hinted he will not enforce parts of the alliance

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Donald Trump’s election to the White House will weaken the Nato alliance and destroy America’s standing in the world, a majority of British voters believe.

A survey for The Independent by BMG Research found that 58 per cent of the public saw the US’s global reputation faltering under the billionaire businessman’s leadership.

Likewise, 52 per cent thought Mr Trump’s election would erode the strength of Nato.

Voters in the UK reacted to Mr Trump’s election upset with dismay, with 49 per cent saying they were shocked and 39 per cent anxious about the future following the election.

The findings come after Mr Trump spent part of his presidential campaign hinting that he would not stand by the Nato alliance agreement in all circumstances.

He suggested that under his leadership the US might not react to help countries in the alliance if they were attacked but had not spent the Nato target amount on defence – a category that includes nearly all the treaty organisation’s member states.

Former Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton branded Mr Trump a “puppet” of Russian president Vladimir Putin during the election campaign. Mr Trump rejected the claim. The Kremlin has said it had contacts with Mr Trump’s team during the course of the election. 

Previous international polling by the firm GIA suggested that Mr Trump’s popularity is mostly limited to the United States – though he apparently enjoys support amongst the Russian and Chinese publics.

“Clearly the UK will want to do business with Trump, but Trump’s values aren’t British values,” Liberal Democrat Foreign Affairs spokesperson Tom Brake said.

“A business-like approach, rather than adulation and sycophancy should be the order of the day.”

The Government has so far taken a reconciliatory line since Mr Trump’s election. Theresa May has so far failed to overly criticise the far-right politician in public and issued a congratulation statement for the president-elect devoid of any criticism.

BMG Research interviewed 2,245 UK adults online on 10-11 November. Data are weighted. BMG is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by their rules.