06.03.2019

Sir Nigel Sheinwald on the UK/US Relationship

President Trump begins his state visit to the UK today and has wasted no time in ruffling feathers: he tweeted criticism of London Mayor Sadiq Khan; referred to Meghan Markle as “nasty;” and expressed his support for a ‘No Deal’ Brexit. Nigel Sheinwald was the UK’s Ambassador to the US until 2012 and joins the program to assess the state of the relationship between the two countries.

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WELL, ANY VISIT, ANY STATE VISIT BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES IS IMPORTANT.

THE U.S. REMAINS THE U.K.'S MOST IMPORTANT ALLY.

MOST SIGNIFICANT ALLY BY QUITE A LONG WAY.

BUT I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT PARTLY BECAUSE IN THE U.K. THIS IS A VERY VULNERABLE AND SIGNIFICANT MOMENT.

WE ARE HAVING TO DEAL WITH A NEW TYPE OF AMERICAN PRESIDENT.

SOMEONE WHO DOESN'T VALUE ALLIANCES IN THE WAY THAT HIS PREDECESSORS IS, WHO LIKES THE HISTORY AND WHO CLEARLY LIKES THE PAGEANTRY, AND THAT'S A GOOD THING BUT IT ISN'T ENOUGH.

I THINK ALLIANCE WITHOUT VALUES, ALLIANCES WITHOUT A SHARED AGENDA ARE WEAK ALLIANCES.

THAT'S WHEN I THINK THIS MAY EXPOSE OR MAY PROVE TO BE WRONG IF THERE SEEMS TO BE MORE SUBSTANCE BEHIND THE SMILES AND BEHIND THE CEREMONY.

SO GIVEN THAT YOU WERE A U.K.

AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED STATES AND ALSO TO THE EUROPEAN UNION, TWO OBVIOUSLY OF THE BIG ISSUES FOR BRITAIN RIGHT NOW ARE GIVEN THAT YOU ARE ALSO STEEPED IN FOREIGN POLICY AND SECURITY POLICY AND INTELLIGENCE POLICY.

WHAT IS THE BIG ISSUE BEYOND TODAY'S ROYAL DAY WHEN IT COMES TO POLITICS?

ARE THERE ANY, AS FAR AS WE KNOW, MAJOR BILATERALS THAT HAVE TO BE TALKED ABOUT?

WHAT'S ON THE TABLE?

I AM NOT SURE THERE IS GOING TO BE A HUGE AMOUNT THAT'S GOING TO GET AGREED THEN AND THERE BECAUSE I THINK THIS PROGRAM IS DELIBERATELY LIKED ON SUBSTANCE, AND THAT'S FOR TWO REASONS.

A, I THINK IT'S BECAUSE THE PRESIDENT DID NOT WANT A HEAVY PROGRAM.

I ALSO THINK BECAUSE AT THIS MOMENT WITH THE PRIME MINISTER TO CHANGE, WITH THE UNCERTAINTY OVER BREXIT, IT DOESN'T FEEL LIKE THE RIGHT MOMENT FOR THE U.K. TO BE LAUNCHING MAJOR NEW INITIATIVES IN ANY EVENT.

I THINK THERE ARE SOME THINGS ON THE AGENDA.

THE TEST WILL BE WHETHER YOU GET THE SENSE OF TWO NATIONS WORKING WITH SOME SENSE OF SHARED PURPOSE AND A SHARED AGENDA BEFORE BEYOND THE GENERALITY OF THIS HISTORIC ALLIANCE.

SO I WOULD SAY THE TEST TOMORROW WILL BE WHAT IS SAID ON IRAN?

WHAT IS SAID ON THE YEMEN AND WHETHER IT'S POSSIBLE FOR THE U.K. AND THE U.S. REALLY TO PUSH FORWARD WITH THE POSSIBILITY OF A PEACE AGREEMENT IN RELATION TO KREMLIN.

W YEMEN.

WHAT IS SAID ON CHINA AND THE PERCEIVED THREAT FROM CHINA AND THE TREATMENT OF HUAWEI HERE IN THE U.K., WHICH IS CLEARLY AN ISSUE VERY MUCH ON THE PRESIDENT'S MIND AND THE MIND OF HIS ADVISORS.

About This Episode EXPAND

Christiane Amanpour speaks with Nigel Sheinwald about President Trump’s visit to the UK; and Ava DuVernay about her new Netflix series “When They See Us” about the Central Park Five. Walter Isaacson speaks with magician David Kwong about his show “The Enigmatist.”

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