In June, I mooted the possibility that Theresa May might consider emigrating to the United States to join the Trump administration, preferably as chief of staff. I’m sorry to see that she has spurned my request and that the charms of No. 10 Downing Street are proving more alluring than decamping for the White House. But I am somewhat consoled by the Telegraph’s report yesterday that May and her advisers are contemplating something even more radical—British entry into NAFTA, an accord that President Trump has dubbed the worst in the history of the American republic. This move could help make not just America, but also Britain great again.
A revived NAFTA would give Trump something to boast about—a renewal of the Anglo-Saxon alliance that has been at the heart of American foreign policy for much of the past century. Critics might scoff at it as a mere exercise in nostalgia but it would signal that the ‘special relationship’ retains its vigour, allowing England to continue to play Greece to America’s Rome. As Harold Macmillan once put it, ‘We must run Allied Forces Headquarters as the Greek slaves ran the operations of the Emperor Claudius.’ Quite right. At a moment when comparisons of America to the latter phases of the Roman republic have become increasingly common, it would be no small accomplishment if May—or a successor – were able to tame some of the excesses emanating from the purlieus of the Oval Office.
Goodness knows that Trump could use some help. In recent days he’s flown into a rage over Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s dismissal of him on June 20 that he’s a ‘moron’—a remark that was apparently delivered after a meeting at the Pentagon where Trump said he wants ten times as many nuclear missiles as are currently on hand—to Senator Bob Corker’s description of him as needing ‘adult daycare’. Trump responded to Tillerson by contending that he would crush Tillerson in an IQ test; to the latter, by mocking Corker’s height, referring to him as ‘Liddle Bob Corker.
On second thought, maybe it’s Trump who will want to decamp from the United States to England rather than May seeking refuge here. His impeding visit in the next few months to London might simply be a blind for scouting out a fresh property in Mayfair. For one thing, he would have the company of plenty of Russian oligarchs. And together with his golf club in Scotland, he should be able to enjoy his dotage in full comfort even if the weather is a bit nipper than his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach.