Whether it’s over Iran, Huawei or trade, the British government has to stand up to Trump

Editorial: The unreliability of the US with the current president in the White House is all the more reason why Boris Johnson should not bend the knee

Sunday 12 January 2020 23:20
Iain Duncan Smith defends chlorinated chicken amid fears over Boris Johnson's US trade deal with Trump

Ben Wallace, the defence secretary, has admitted that the prospect of the United States pursuing an isolationist foreign policy keeps him awake at night.

Many other people will be kept awake by the prospect of Donald Trump pursuing an interventionist policy abroad. Indeed, the world held its breath last week after the assassination of Qassem Soleimani, as it awaited Iran’s response and America’s response to that response. Fortunately, wise heads in Tehran and Washington prevailed. The immediate flashpoint seems to have passed, even though huge underlying tensions remain.

Mr Wallace’s candour in acknowledging that the UK cannot rely on the US being alongside it in future large-scale military operations is welcome. He told The Sunday Times: “The assumptions of 2010 that we were always going to be part of a US coalition on everything, is really just not where we are going to be.” He cited Mr Trump’s decision to withdraw US forces from Syria and his call for Nato to do more in the Middle East.

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