Trump vows trade deal with UK

UK Prime Minister Theresa May

UK Prime Minister Theresa May

In an interview with the London Times [subscription required], Donald Trump promised a quick trade deal with the UK, thus helping its Brexit transition.  (British prime minister Theresa May and other Brexit supporters were delighted at the news.)

He also gave other indications of what his new foreign policy would be like:  He said he supported NATO, though he considered it “obsolete,” saying only five NATO members are paying their dues.  He also said he might suspend sanctions against Russia in exchange for a nuclear arms cut.

The EU is alarmed because it had been planning to punish the UK economically for pulling out of the union.  Furthermore, if Trump is going to reward UK for breaking away from the European Union, will that encourage other member nations to do the same? Trump’s NATO talk also has Europe worried that they may have to go it alone militarily without the US.

If a free trade pact with the UK were to be extended to other countries that break away from the EU, that could create a new bloc of nations, dominated by the US.  Or maybe Trump’s deal could be extended to other English-speaking countries, such as Canada and Australia.  Throw in India, with its vast population and emerging wealth, as an alternative to China.

Whatever happens, Trump is going to remake American foreign policy, for better or worse (or some of both). [Read more…]

Czech Republic tells citizens to arm themselves

Cz805The Czech Republic, perhaps the most pro-gun nation in Europe, has called on its citizens to arm themselves as a line of defense against terrorists.

Meanwhile, the former Soviet satellite has been battling the European Union, of which it is a member, which has been trying to pass more gun restrictions.  With the help of Finland, Germany, and various national “right wing” groups, the measure was weakened.  But the version that passed will still force member nations, including the Czechs, to impose a ban on “military-style” firearms and to require gun buyers to pass “psychological checks.”

Nevertheless, the Czechs are considering a constitutional amendment to strengthen gun rights. [Read more…]

On Britain’s “Independence Day”

Though the stock markets are reeling and Scotland and Northern Ireland–and maybe even London!— are considering leaving Great Britain, turning it into “Little Britain,” others are congratulating the United Kingdom for achieving “Independence” from the European Union.  Five more countries–France, Austria, the Netherlands, Hungary, and Finland–are now considering their own exits.  UPDATE:  Also Italy, Poland, and Slovakia.  After the jump, thoughts supporting Britain’s action from ex-Republican George Will. [Read more…]

Great Britain votes to leave the European Union

Great Britain voted to leave the European Union, 52%-48%.  Prime Minister David Cameron, who led the “Remain” effort despite bitter opposition in his party, has resigned.  He said that the formal exit would have to be worked out by the new leadership, which may take several months.  Meanwhile, the pound has collapsed.  Global markets are plunging.

Questions now that remain to be seen:

  • Will other countries likewise leave the EU?  Does the departure of one of its most important members mean the end of the European Union?
  • Does this herald the end of globalism and the end of multi-culturalism?
  • Does this mean Donald Trump, whose issues–anti-immigration, nationalism, economic protectionism–are similar to those of the “Leave” faction, is riding the wave of history?

What others come to mind?  What do you think will happen?  Please weigh in with your comments. [Read more…]

Britain votes today on whether to stay in the European Union

Today is the day that Great Britain votes on whether or not to stay in the European Union.  Last minute polls have the outcome too close to call.

What do you think will happen?  Do you think the “Brexit” movement (British exit) is of a piece with the rise of Donald Trump, as many are saying, since advocates of both are populists, nationalists, and dislike so much immigration?   [Read more…]

Obama threatens Great Britain if it leaves the EU

Great Britain is getting ready to vote on whether or not to exit the European Union, a cause that is going by the name “Brexit.”  Though surely whether or not to do that is the business of the British people, President Obama has weighed in on the matter.  

During his visit there, he went so far as to threaten the British that if they leave the EU, they would be “at the back of the queue” for any trade deals.  Threatening a nation’s economy if they do not bend to our will is essentially what the Saudi Arabia leadership did to the United States, to the general outrage of Americans.  Now the Brits are similarly outraged at Obama.  See the London Daily Express story after the jump. [Read more…]