Want a free trade deal with the US? Then align with Washington not Brussels on foreign policy, former Trump aide tells BoJo
A former aide to US President Donald Trump, Richard Goldberg, has warned British PM Boris Johnson that if the UK wants a free trade agreement with the US, then he’ll need to follow Washington and not Brussels on foreign policy.
In an interview with BBC Radio 4 on Wednesday, Iran hawk Richard Goldberg – who recently stepped down from his role on the National Security Council following his part in ramping up US tensions with Tehran – ostensibly issued Johnson a veiled threat.
Goldberg suggested that Johnson think long and hard about the UK’s position on the Iran nuclear deal and foreign policy more generally. He insisted that in post-Brexit Britain, it’s “less important what Brussels thinks and far more important what Washington thinks.”
It’s absolutely in his interest and the people of Britain’s interest to join with President Trump and the United States, to realign your foreign policy away from Brussels, and to join the maximum pressure campaign to keep us all safe.
Goldberg’s comments have been widely panned on social media, with many interpreting his words as an ultimatum, rather than a “choice” being presented to PM Johnson. Green MP Caroline Lucas claimed that it was “clear” that if the UK is to secure a trade deal with the US then “we’d have to follow Trump’s dangerous foreign policies.”
We've not even left the EU yet and it's already clear that if we want a US trade deal, the US administration will try to force us to accept their food standards & drug prices, and we'd have to follow Trump's dangerous foreign policies https://t.co/iv5vg6AHkG— Caroline Lucas (@CarolineLucas) January 15, 2020
Others online insisted Trump’s former aide was in reality proposing that the UK becomes “a US vassal state & to fall in line on Iran, Israel” and the Middle East. While another angrily tweeted: “So much for Take Back Control.”
#r4today Richard Goldberg goes from White House's Iran director to Freedom Foundation & draws a clear link between Johnson's falling in behind Trump policy, and a UK-US trade deal after Brexit. UK clearly expected to be a US vassal state & to fall in line on Iran, Israel, M East.— susannah tarbush (@starbie99) January 15, 2020
Rich Goldberg (who he?) tells us Brexit Britain MUST now align itself with the US both economically AND politically, ie adopt US 'foreign policy' #r4today#Iran So much for Take Back Control. Thanks, Rich. Thanks BBC.— Clapton Blues (@garyfoskett) January 15, 2020
On Tuesday, Johnson signaled that he was falling in line behind the US president and would seek to tear up the current Iran deal and replace it with a ‘Trump deal’.
“Let’s work together to replace the JCPOA and get the ‘Trump deal’ instead,” Johnson told BBC Breakfast.
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