Brexit has lessened Britain’s usefulness to the US, claims former senior diplomat and crossbench peer, Peter Ricketts.
Ricketts believes that Brexit has made the US change its views on the UK, and instead of seeing it as the centre of gravity in US eyes-particularly under a Biden administration-the US will increasingly view it on the periphery of Europe.
Ricketts, who has spent 40 years defending Britain’s interests in the world claimed that the US will increasingly look toward Paris and Berlin as the key to US interests in Europe, especially as the UK looks to pursue its interests outside of the EU and has struggled to achieve a valid trade agreement with the EU, despite four years of negotiations.
Ricketts comments follow a trend of former diplomats offering gloomy views on the future of the UK’s relationship and usefulness to the US.
Ivan Rogers who was the UK’s permanent representative to Brussels from 2013-2017 has previously told the Observer that Boris Johnson is likely biding his time to see the results of the US presidential election before deciding whether to leave the EU without a trade deal. And whilst government sources had rejected Rogers’ assertions, there is some merit to what Rogers has said, after all though Trump is erratic he has shown a certain willingness to trade with Brexit Britain, whilst Joe Biden has shown some hostility.
Should Biden win the election on November 3rd, his administration and the EU would likely work on establishing a fresh relationship, which would push Brexit down the list of both sides priorities. Furthermore, Biden has already shown that he views Brexit as a risk to both Europe and Britain’s stability, having previously tweeted that ‘the Good Friday Agreement that brought peace to Northern Ireland cannot become a casualty of Brexit.’
This was a particularly relevant intervention given Biden’s own Irish background and his ties to the area combined with the Irish influence in the Democratic party. It cannot be discounted that should Britain veer out of a trade deal by accident or design, that a Biden administration would consequently concentrate on building up ties with the EU, which could make things all the harder for the UK.
Ultimately, the comments by Ricketts and Rogers confirm a suspicion that has long been under the surface. The US uses the UK as long as we are useful for them, if they view Brexit as removing that usefulness, we must move on and find ourselves new partners. Otherwise, we will be little more than a satellite state with no seat at the table.