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So, the special relationship. The relationship between the US and the UK. A term frequently more used by British people than Americans. But goes to describe what traditionally has been seen as the closest alliance, frankly, in the world. Two countries that share a common heritage, a common history, a common language. And yet now we have the ambassador to Washington from the UK calling the president of the United States in leaked cables, "incompetent," "inept," "dysfunctional." And the president of the United States replying on Twitter by calling the ambassador "wacky," "a very stupid guy," and "a pompous fool." Not necessarily a thing you would associate with a special relationship.
And now, today, the ambassador himself, Kim Darroch, has been forced to resign in the wake of this scandal. What can we take away from this? Sucking up to the president of the United States just doesn't work, particularly this president of the United States. Remember, it was just a couple weeks ago, that Trump went to London, was feted by the Queen, with a full state dinner, that did not have any effect on the ability of the British ambassador to survive this row. It is something that Emmanuel Macron, the president of France, tried very early in his relationship with President Trump; invited him to Paris, invited to the Eiffel Tower for, again, another fancy dinner. That hasn't worked. The ability to romance Donald Trump just doesn't work in diplomatic circles.
Secondly, what Kim Darroch said in his cables to London are actually true. Donald Trump is incredibly unpredictable. You do not know what the president of the United States is going to latch on to and become obsessed about. It is at his own whim and there's no way of knowing. There was many people, both in the UK and the US, who thought this would blow over in 24, 48 hours. And that was a lot of what we were hearing out of Washington.
Lastly, I would just say, that the relationship between the UK and the US will endure. It has survived, actually, worse crises. Obviously, the Suez Crisis in the 1950s, where President Eisenhower failed to back the British effort in Egypt to retake the Suez Canal. Obviously, the Vietnam war where the UK did not participate, and openly criticised the US for their policies in southeast Asia. Survived that.
And also, I think people forget when you look at the surface of the diplomatic row, that the military intelligence relationship between the UK and the US, again, is closer than any two countries in the world right now. There was something called the Five Eyes Treaty, which means that the signals intelligence that the US gets and UK gets is shared without exception. There are UK military who are embedded in US billets. There are diplomats from the US who are embedded in UK billets. It is an incredibly close relationship. Closer than any two nations in the world. So despite this diplomatic spat, despite the raw feelings right now between the UK and the US. This is a relationship that will continue to be the most important bilateral relations in the world. And I wouldn't anticipate this affecting things in the long term.