Magazine article The Spectator

An Opportunity for Britain

Magazine article The Spectator

An Opportunity for Britain

Article excerpt

When Britain voted to leave the European Union, the government was at pains to insist this was not a vote to leave Europe. With Donald Trump in the White House, this distinction will be crucial: the UK will suddenly become a lot more important to the security of the continent.

The Donald has not bothered to court foreign leaders. Downing Street, which prides itself on its ability to befriend US presidential contenders, has no relationship with him; neither does anyone else in Europe. As a result, there is no certainty that America's new commander-in-chief will feel bound by Nato's Article 5 obligation to defend any member that comes under attack. If that assumption is shaken, then what?

In such times, the argument for Britain having its own nuclear deterrent is a lot easier to make and the importance of the UK's defence capability should lead to a more mature discussion about Brexit. …

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