Jeremy Hunt Discusses Brexit

As tempers flare over Brexit, British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt compares the European Union to the Soviet Union. Christiane Amanpour sat down with him in New York to discuss the state of the negotiations.

Read Transcript EXPAND

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: You once said about President Trump, you said, “The traditional Western Foreign-Policy has been that if we disapprove of something somebody has done, we just don’t take action but we stop the engagement as well. Donald Trump takes a view that actually you need to engage with people. I think it’s a business mentality. He’s always looking for a way to recast the deal.” Do you still feel that way about Trump? I mean, do you think there is method to madness, as some people might describe?

JEREMY HUNT: I do think that he does look at the world in terms of the various deals that America signed up to. And rather than want to tear down the firmament and abandon the whole international rural space system, he’s basically saying, “Look, I accept the need for deals but they need to be deals that work for America.” And I think if you look at, for example, his approach to the NATO summit that we had this July, he arrived in a very competent mood because actually, this is something we agree with him on, European allies are not contributing as much as they should to the NATO budget. The U.S. is spending far more as a proportion its GDP. He left the NATO summit a very happy, very committed to NATO because he had secured some commitment for extra funding from the European side. So I think it’s important to understand his methods which is the method to start by making people sweat and think about the possibility of American withdrawal. But fundamentally, in the end, I think he does understand the importance of some of the really important alliances that underpin the international order.

AMANPOUR: I wonder what you make about his speech at the United Nations. He was very clear that this was about a sovereign America. And that he rejected the idea as he said of globalism and embrace the idea of a national doctrine of patriotism and he noted that on everybody. As if there were sort of mutually exclusive, you can’t be patriotic if you are globalist or whatever. And, of course, Europe sovereignty is being breached if he says that he’s going to threaten you with secondary sanctions for doing business under an internationally recognized deal. So I just wonder how you can stand up for yourself, how does Europe stand up for itself. And perhaps even your reaction to some of these books that have come out about his policy like you talked about NATO. His national security advisor came over and had all this stuff signed up before the president who comes and have a different view and maybe method ups so to speak.

HUNT: Well, I think we have to understand the reasons why President Trump is saying what he is saying. And it’s connected to the reasons why he was elected which is that he has a base and we have similar possible place the U.K. and Europe as well that feel disoriented and worried by globalization. And that was probably something that was a contributor to the Brexit in the U.K. and indeed to some of the political turbulence in other parts of Europe.

About This Episode EXPAND

Christiane Amanpour interviews Tarana Burke, founder of MeToo & Ana Maria Archila who confronted U.S. Senate Republican Jeff Flake; and Jeremy Hunt, British Foreign Secretary. Hari Sreenivasan interviews Alexis Ohanian, Co-founder of Initialized Capital.