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Thursday 10 July 2019

News reports this morning hint at a very positive re-setting of the special relationship following Kim Darroch’s welcome resignation yesterday – check out the clip below for a stirring explanation from Richard Tice of why the Europhile Sir Kim had to go.

The present situation is bad, going way beyond any offence taken by Donald Trump. The Telegraph reveals “chronic” staffing shortages and a communications breakdown with Whitehall have massively hindered progress towards a vital trade deal.

The Telegraph has uncovered a cache of documents revealing how overstretched departments have repeatedly stumbled in their preliminary trade talks with the US over politically sensitive issues like health, farming and finance – the type of hurdles overcome when the political will is there, but as we all know, Kim Darroch is far from the only Remainer in Britain’s civil service. The impasse is reaching a point where fears an accord with the US will never materialise in spite of Trump’s personal commitment to a “phenomenal trade deal” at last month’s state visit.

The government claims that’s nonsense, pointing to a recent meeting involving over 100 US and UK officials, and the trade secretary’s appointment with Ivanka Trump earlier this week, which incidentally, Darroch was barred from attending.

However, one of the leaked memos reveals the international trade secretary’s meeting was used as “a bit of desperate bid” to demonstrate progress.

That’s the present, but Britain is poised for a very different and dynamic future.

“The message is clear: forget Sir Kim’s indiscretions,” writes the Spectator’s US columnist. “Trump wants to reset UK-US relations for the better – or at least to his better advantage. New avenues of transatlantic co-operation are opening up, and Trump is optimistic.”

As we all know, President Trump has been full of praise for Boris Johnson. The view in Washington is Britain’s soon-to-be prime minister is ideally placed to build the bridges burnt by Darroch and Theresa May, who couldn’t have looked less excited by Trump’s ambitions for a trade deal at their shared press conference.

Contrast that with her immediate successor who has pitched the idea of Britain joining NAFTA – now reformed under Trump – in his zeal for closer economic ties. Boris and Trump are a much more natural partnership. May is known to have found the president’s flowing conversation irritating as she approached their telephone appointments with a meticulous agenda. She is cut from the same mandarin cloth as Darroch – in a former life she was a civil servant at the Bank of England. Boris’s freewheeling and optimistic style is completely in tune with America’s commander in chief.

And there’s strategy behind the chemistry. Britain’s new government will hope to warm relations at an accelerated pace. In turn, there’s talk of the Vice-President Pence making a visit in October, days before Britain is set to leave the EU, the message to Brussels: Britain is forging a powerful transatlantic economic alliance, offer us a fair deal or your access to our market will be severely diminished and you’ll find a dynamic outward economy on your doorstep.

Things are looking up.