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Donald Trump arrived in London yesterday, cue much introspection about his relationship with Britain, Theresa May and the state of the special relationship. British foreign policy was traditionally based on two pillars, America and Europe, and both are now crumbling. With the president’s glitzy arrival and the bombastic departure of Boris Johnson from the cabinet, it has been a good week for those who enjoy politics as reality television.

web_Trump and Johnson

Philip Stephens examines the similarities between Mr Johnson and Mr Trump in his latest column, arguing that the Brexiters are harking back to a special relationship that does not exist. The president does not believe in Atlanticism, or in any alliances based on interests or shared values. Mr Trump’s “America First” approach means that the US has to win every time, and this bodes badly for any future UK-US trade deal.

Anthony Scaramucci, the former White House communications director, argues that a trade war would undermine Donald Trump's economic successes.

Philip Hammond, the UK chancellor, explains why the UK’s latest proposals for financial services after Brexit deserve a fair hearing from Brussels.

Henry Mance imagines what Boris Johnson’s other letter to the UK prime minister, in which he decides to stay in office, might have looked like.

Martin Wolf ponders Corbynomics and whether the Labour leader is embracing the right kind of radical reform.

Gillian Tett writes that the scandal surrounding Cambridge Analytica has echoes of the financial crisis.

What you’ve been saying

Wimbledon experienced its own form of disruption — Letter from Tony Friend:

For those of us that play the original form of the game, real tennis, which has been played for many centuries, our rackets have hardly changed over many, many years and are still made of wood. The new form of the game, lawn tennis, which came into existence only towards the end of the 19th century, has seen huge change in the rackets used that has changed the game for players and spectators. Even though they were not using wooden rackets at Wimbledon in the early 1990s, modern rackets have a huge head, giving a large sweet spot, and are made of modern materials that give the power to enable players to hit the ball at speeds incomparable with earlier times.

Comment by Ir2015 on Banking M&A: the quest to create a European champion:

We have forgotten the lessons of 2008. When banks get too big to fail, and too complicated, we all end up bailing out the bankers in a crises, and putting the entire economic system at risk. Banks are different to 20 years ago, and not in a good way. Banks have become incredibly inefficient with horrible cost to income ratios (Unicredit) and poor IT (TSB and RBS). Rather than growing out of their problems these banks should shrink to fit the new age.

There is clearly no option other than a hard Brexit — Letter from Ben Habib:

Is it not time for the UK government to recognise that between its own inability to form a consensus and the EU’s intransigence that there is no option other than a hard Brexit? Is it not time therefore to form and a business plan for the UK outside the single market and outside the customs union? The obvious lack of preparation for this increasingly likely downside scenario is the most worrying aspect of the government’s failings.

Today’s opinion

A trade war risks all Donald Trump’s economic successes
The very voters who put the US president in the White House will be hurt by tariffs

City Insider: Award-winning creativity on World Cup semis night
Summer dos timetabled on Wednesday worked hard to ensure they weren’t boycotted by football fans

The Cambridge Analytica scandal echoes the financial crisis
In both cases innovative geeks leapfrogged regulators and their creations were abused

‘I will be your Chequers mate!’ Boris Johnson’s other letter to May
The former foreign secretary wrote an unverified second note to the UK prime minister

Free Lunch: The euro’s surreptitious progress
Europe’s monetary union is in better shape than in a long time

Brexit and a not-so-special relationship
Brexiters promote the delusion Britain and the US can recreate a mythical partnership

FT View

The FT View: A plausible vision for the City of London’s future
UK white paper recognises EU political realities on financial services

The FT View: Peace accord brings hope to the Horn of Africa
Ethiopia-Eritrea deal ends one of the world’s last interstate conflicts

The Big Read

The Big Read: China and the world: how Beijing spreads the message
More than 200 Chinese-language publications reprint content from state media. The Communist party believes the coverage helps mute opposition from the diaspora

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