John Harris

Journalist & Author

Brexit and Trump are entangled. Labour must rethink its article 50 stance | John Harris

Corbyn’s three-line whip could mean MPs are not just voting to leave the EU, but backing a US leader who is spreading dangerous tensions around the world

Theresa May goes to America to hold Donald Trump’s hand. Inside 48 hours of her departure, that quickly infamous executive order on the US travel ban sparks a huge story, variously involving Mo Farah, an Iraqi-born Tory MP, and the clear sense that something fundamental to a lot of people’s view of the US has suddenly been kicked away. And as the saga rolls on, another thing reveals itself: that with Trump in the White House, Britain is set to take a historic step away from Europe and the prime minister apparently determined to reinvent the so-called special relationship, the context for Brexit might have been transformed.

To state the obvious, Trump was not in office on 23 June 2016. Indeed, received opinion still had it that come November, he would easily be defeated by Hillary Clinton. Now, though, his hyperactive first week in power, his bracing view of geopolitics and the time he recently spent with May have surely put a fresh set of tensions into the debate about how we leave the EU – or, indeed, whether we should leave at all – and the international relationships that might take its place.

Remarkable statement by Ted Malloch, reported to be Donald Trump’s pick as US ambassador to the EU, speaking on BBC’s #ThisWeek pic.twitter.com/LDQtyRCdpa

Related: Trump is trading on prejudice – and if May is a true friend she’ll tell him | Sarah Wollaston

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