What do we need from a new Ambassador to the USA?

The outgoing Ambassador was right to resign. His position was undermined by the leaker, who needs to be identified. He could no longer perform his role, as the President took his criticisms personally. The next Ambassador must be capable of good analysis in private communications, expressed in moderate and professional language, and be a great advocate of the United Kingdom. He or she will need to rebuild trust and regular exchanges with the Administration after this most unfortunate rupture. We need someone who likes the USA and respects the democratic decision of US voters.

The new appointee should be expected to regain access to senior officials and the President and to reassure them that the UK respects the Administration in office and wishes to work with them, whilst of course reserving the right of a trusted friend and ally to give unpopular advice in private and to disagree in public about policy where our interests as countries diverge. The first report back home should explain the successes and aims of the White House as they set them out, and to remind us that we can learn from their economic progress. The US is growing considerably faster than the UK or the EU. It is enjoying considerable success in creating many new jobs and getting real wages up. The President’s tax cuts have made people better off, promoted more investment in the USA and helped establish more and better paid employment. The President, unlike his predecessors has kept them and us out of difficult Middle Eastern wars. More background to US achievement would be helpful and provide essential political context to the long run up to the next Presidential election, which Mr Trump is in a good position currently to win.

Of course the Ambassador should also inform London of the Democrat critique of the Presidency to provide balance. Instead of siding with the Opposition the analysis should evaluate chances or probabilities of the Democrats finding a candidate for the Presidency who might be able to win, and in the meantime assessing what the Democrats in the House of Representatives can achieve on issues where the Congress has a say.

The diplomatic memo should not be cheer leading for the President’s critics, giving a false sense of their chances of gaining control. Nor should it be propaganda for Mr Trump, whose policies should be reported and scrutinised professionally. The new UK representative needs to be proud of the UK and our decision to leave the EU, and alert to the many opportunities Brexit offers for the US relationship, not just in our minds but in the mind of the President.

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  1. formula57
    Posted July 11, 2019 at 5:15 am | Permalink

    You set tough criteria in your opening paragraph such that filling the vacancy will not be so easy. An opportunity to appoint from outside of the Diplomatic Service though perhaps?

    (Clearly, we do not wish for some Common Purpose quisling appointed by T. May. That must be prevented.)

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted July 11, 2019 at 6:28 am | Permalink

      I’m pretty sure that the whole FO is comprised of Common Purpose Maylings. A whole new attitude must be cultivated separately from the FO which will otherwise contaminate it.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted July 11, 2019 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

        There does seem to be an amazing about of “group think” among bureaucrats and politician (and indeed at the BBC). Alas the “group think” they go for is all wrong – pro EU, pro ever higher taxes, pro ever more government and government regulation, pro climate alarmism and pro very expensive renewable energy and endless other green crap.

        The reasons are that bureaucrats largely benefit from ever more government and other such lunacies. Plus so few of them are engineers, physicists, sound (non magic money tree) economists, engineers, business people, medics or similar. Or have ever held down a proper non state sector job. Politicians are there to ensure these people provide what the public need but they go native very quickly. Many earning consultancy fees and getting higher earnings by going native.

    • Leaver
      Posted July 11, 2019 at 7:45 am | Permalink

      I voted for us to stop being vassals of the E.U.

      I certainly did not vote for us to become vassals of the U.S and start kowtowing to the yanks as our future P.M appears to be doing.

      • John Bickley
        Posted July 11, 2019 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

        What an odd comment. History shows that being a close ally of the US has reaped considerable benefits for the UK. Getting closer to the US in a post EU future doesn’t mean we have the US make our laws, take our money, have access to our fishing grounds or have to accept unlimited US immigration

        • Mitchel
          Posted July 11, 2019 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

          Does history really show that?From Prof. John Charmley’s “Churchill’s Grand Alliance-the Anglo-American Special Relationship 1940-1957.”published 1995:-

          “He (Eden) was also acute in discerning the challenge to British power posed by America.But where he failed was in getting Churchill to act.Those historians who allege that the argument pursued here is the product of hindsight have clearly not immersed themselves in the thinking of Anthony Eden,who saw things when they still lay in the mists of the future.Churchill received excellent advice about how to deal with the Soviets,and with the French but ignored it because it conflicted with his fantasy about an Anglo-American Union.Thereafter,he tried to make up the lost ground, but it was too late.The onset of the Cold War and the triumph of Churchill’s “Grand Alliance” locked Britain into a junior partnership with the Americans which in the Far East overstrained the British economy and brought the risk of nuclear war.In the Middle East it resulted in the British being forced to subordinate their own policy to American desiderata,whilst in Western Europe it’s result was pressure to join a federation.”

          Being so close to America since WWII has resulted in us being currently ,and geopolitically speaking,in probably the worst position of any “major” power.

        • Leaver
          Posted July 11, 2019 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

          I agree. The U.S are our most important ally and I don’t like the ambassador at all. I simply resent responding to the president’s tweets. We should tell him it’s none of his business on principle. I’m just tired of the general defeatism in this country. It’s this Project Fear attitude. We need to start showing more backbone as a nation and stop being told what to do.

      • Mitchel
        Posted July 11, 2019 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

        There is a bracing article in The Atlantic (10/7/19) by Washington-based Brit,Ben Judah-“Washington changed.British Diplomacy failed to keep pace.The UK’s problems are much bigger than some leaked cables or the abrupt resignation of it’s ambassador.”:-

        “Here the UK has slipped far behind the close ties of the Special Relationship-the real one,that is-between the US and Israel.Neither is the UK the superpower’s tightest economic partner-a role filled by Canada-and in the tightest of it’s security ties to the US,it is now being overtaken by France.

        The changing geography of America’s operations -shifting towards Africa-means France is increasingly the leading fighting partner.

        Britain just isn’t a pocket superpower anymore.Even the core of the Special Relationship,the Five Eyes intelligence sharing system is not what it seems.Actually,states such as France that are outside the Five Eyes tend to cultivate their own sources,and so are often actually more useful to the Americans.”And so on-it’s googleable if you want to read the whole thing.

    • Richard Evans
      Posted July 12, 2019 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

      We definitely need an outsider who is devoid of Common Purpose agenda and propaganda. Trump stated he never met the UK representative so where did our representative get his information, the US Deep State, CNN, ABC, MSNBC etc? Remember MAY is part of the UK Deep State/Establishment and has deliberately been left in her position to create as much havoc as possible as dictated by her establishment masters.
      I shall ask the question once again, when is the UK MSM going to inform the public of the real reason why May resigned? People do your own research.

  2. Alan Jutson
    Posted July 11, 2019 at 5:22 am | Permalink

    I hope the next Ambassador will be the choice of the next Prime Minister, not the Present incumbent.
    I also hope the next Ambassador really does believe in Brexit and the possible trade opportunities it offers with the USA, and will work towards a sensible agreement, whilst standing up for and putting the case in the Uk’s interest.

    • Peter
      Posted July 11, 2019 at 6:45 am | Permalink

      May should not be appointing the next ambassador. It was foolish to leave a failed Prime Minister in post for so long after the resignation was agreed.

      Now we have the ridiculous situation where we have a diplomat who can no longer perform the role for which he was appointed. The ambassador and the leaker are the cause of the problem. However, opportunists, aided by the media, want to switch the story so that it is all the fault of Boris Johnson. It is a daft and transparent ‘my country right or wrong’ campaign.

      The next appointment needs to be a skilful and careful diplomat who does not upset the host country while promoting the interests of Britain,

      • Andy
        Posted July 11, 2019 at 7:47 am | Permalink

        The ambassador is not the problem. His job is to tell it as he sees it.

        The leaker – a Brexiteer – is the problem. I hope he or she is quaking.
        Reply No reason to suppose it is a Brexiteer. Brexiteers want us to have good relations with the USA,not to disrupt them

        • Lifelogic
          Posted July 11, 2019 at 9:38 am | Permalink

          No reason at all to assume it was a Brexiteer. If it was it one they were totally misguided. Without the leak he could just have retired later in the year and US relations would be better.

          So as to be replaced by someone more suitable & chosen after Boris becomes PM.

          We certainly do not want EU Appeaser May having anything to do with the next choice.

        • graham1946
          Posted July 11, 2019 at 9:54 am | Permalink

          The problem with the Ambassador is that he sent sensitive information (some of which is no more than tittle tattle from the MSM) by email, which everyone knows is not secure. Any such information should be sent by the diplomatic bag or encrypted. This is his fault entirely.
          Secondly, having been in post for 3 years it is disgraceful that he only met the POTUS a few times, shaking hands across a table and seems to have made no attempt to get the UK in with the USA, a major ally and market. He is clearly not fit for the job and no doubt, the next one will be the same, Oxbridge, 30 years in the FO and no understanding of business.
          You again let down your argument by stating things which you do not know as facts, by stating it was a Brexiteer, when it is much more likely to have been a Remainer wishing to queer the pitch of the UK with the USA. Leavers want good relations with other countries, particularly the USA. I doubt we will ever find out who did it – the establishment will close ranks.

        • AlmostDead
          Posted July 11, 2019 at 10:30 am | Permalink

          Reply to Reply: You don’t speak for all of us. I didn’t vote to leave the EU, just to bend over and take it from the US.

          • mancunius
            Posted July 11, 2019 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

            Yes, we all realize you didn’t vote to leave the EU 😉

          • Mitchel
            Posted July 11, 2019 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

            Henry Kissinger’s famous quip:”To be an enemy of America can be dangerous;to be a friend is fatal.”

          • rose
            Posted July 11, 2019 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

            Take what from the US? The PM and Foreign Secretary were woefully misguided to adopt a chippy, jingoistic attitude to this. Once the Ambassador had been unmasked by his leaked emails, his position was untenable, if it was ever truly tenable once his friend Mrs Clinton had lost and he had failed to adjust to the new situation. He should have resigned at once, and in the past he would have done. The US President should not have had to enter into the discussion at all, and he wouldn’t have if the man had resigned. Nor is it anything to do with Boris. The idiotic attempts to hang the resignation round his neck have shown the establishment to have lost the plot. If he had told the truth, that the man should have resigned straight away, how would that have gone down? He was diplomatically urbane, making it clear he would choose the next person. That is not bending over to anyone, least of all the MSM.

          • APL
            Posted July 11, 2019 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

            AlmostDead: “just to bend over and take it from the US.”

            Well, variety is supposedly the spice of life. It’ll make a change from being reamed by the EU.

          • NickC
            Posted July 12, 2019 at 12:11 am | Permalink

            Almostdead, But you did vote for the UK not to be independent. So if you got your way – the UK ruled by a foreign power – I would much rather it be the USA than the rotten EU. Do we get a second referendum to make that choice? Ohhh, I didn’t think so – you only want us to be ruled by the EU. Just how is that better? Hint: I voted for independence.

        • Nicholas Murphy
          Posted July 11, 2019 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

          A Brexiteer? A strange suggestion, given that the immediate outcome is to hinder talks aimed at developing a UK-USA FTA.

      • Nicki Morley
        Posted July 11, 2019 at 11:54 am | Permalink

        Agree. Still beyond me that it’s thrown at the door of Boris, why not Jeremy? Boris and Brexit getting blamed for any negative just now, ridiculous. And also the sitting PM should be removed urgently as there is no knowing what harm she is hatching to stop Brexit and stop Boris from succession.

    • Mark
      Posted July 11, 2019 at 10:05 am | Permalink

      It makes sense that the embassy be left in the care of the Deputy Head of Mission as Charge for several months to allow tempers to cool and to permit selection from a wider pool of candidates. As a former Foreign Secretary, Boris will know many of them personally. As he has stated, there are people to be found in the FCO who do believe in the Brexit project.

      • Stred
        Posted July 11, 2019 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

        But May will try to appoint some other disaster.

  3. oldtimer
    Posted July 11, 2019 at 5:22 am | Permalink

    The new ambassador should also respect the democratic decision of UK voters to leave the UK. This is not always obvious in the behaviour of some senior officials in the civil service many of whom are reportedly strong europhiled, including the one who has just resigned.

    • Andy
      Posted July 11, 2019 at 8:42 am | Permalink

      Perhaps – to help you identify Europhiles – we should all wear armbands with the EU flag on them.

      • agricola
        Posted July 11, 2019 at 9:46 am | Permalink

        No need for an armband Andy, you writings are quite sufficient to identify your thinking.

        • margaret howard
          Posted July 11, 2019 at 2:43 pm | Permalink


          He refers to the other half of UK Europhiles who voted Remain.

        • Stred
          Posted July 11, 2019 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

          Horrors. May appoints Andy.

      • Nicholas Murphy
        Posted July 11, 2019 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

        No need. The face-painting, flag waving and humming of Ode to Joy are signs enough.

        • APL
          Posted July 11, 2019 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

          Nicholas Murphy: “humming of Ode to Joy ”

          Ode to Joy is an excellent work. It ain’t Beethoven’s fault it’s been adopted by the European Union.

          Why should the devil have all the best tunes?

        • margaret howard
          Posted July 12, 2019 at 4:18 pm | Permalink


          Surely the face painters and flag wavers of this world usually chant ‘ENGERLAND’ – with musical taste more likely to run to the Sex Pistols.

      • NickC
        Posted July 12, 2019 at 12:15 am | Permalink

        Andy, You seem to plaster the EU flag all over yourselves and your possessions of your own choice. So no need. Thanks.

  4. Ron Delaney
    Posted July 11, 2019 at 5:25 am | Permalink

    Arrant nonsense. Our outgoing ambassador did all these things, but was undermined by partial and selectively edited leaking of his frank advice. We need to focus on who has leaked in order to weaken our country. We know the “journalist” involved, Ms Oakeshott, is very close to people like (named Brexiteers ed) and other extremist Brexiters (she is in effect their mouthpiece), so let’s get investigating.

    Reply I doubt these Brexiteers are on the circulation list for these secret documents!

    • Dominic
      Posted July 11, 2019 at 5:44 am | Permalink

      Farage was a banker and a family man. He’s not an extremist. Such language is typical of the pathetic mindset of what we are now confronted with

      Anti-Semitism is extremist not a desire for a sovereign, independent United Kingdom. Comprende?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted July 11, 2019 at 9:39 am | Permalink


      • Timaction
        Posted July 11, 2019 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

        +1. Sir Alan Duncan didn’t equip himself well in his anti Boris tantrum on the msm last night. An awful remainer prepared to sign us up to the EU military plans. He must go along with a large number of the swamp!

      • Kevin Lohse
        Posted July 11, 2019 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

        Farage was a metals trader on the Baltic Exchange. Had his own firm of about 30 strong.

    • John Scot
      Posted July 11, 2019 at 5:47 am | Permalink

      Indeed they are not. So we are looking for someone who is on the circulation list, but has close political ties with Farage and Banks. That means some, but not all, of the current Cabinet

      Reply No, we are looking for who actually leaked the memo who might have done so for opposite reasons to the ones you think likely.

      • Alan Jutson
        Posted July 11, 2019 at 8:16 am | Permalink


        Agree with your reply, we are probably looking for someone who wants to disrupt any possible trade talks between us and the USA, thus making moving Brexit forward to a brighter future a more difficult and lengthy process.

        Just like may Past and present Mp’s, Past Cabinet Ministers, Past Prime Ministers and present Party leaders who having been briefing against our UK interests to Mr Barnier direct so he can make it more difficult for us to get a sensible agreement, with him knowing that that policy will be supported by some in our own Parliament.

        Utterly shameful behaviour.

        • AlmostDead
          Posted July 11, 2019 at 10:36 am | Permalink

          Can you please get off you knees? Doing a deal only with the US has no bearing on whether that future is brighter than today. That future depends on a number of actions, one of which is getting a deal with the EU as well, whether you like it or not.

          • graham1946
            Posted July 11, 2019 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

            We do want a deal with the EU. We have always said that, but it is the EU who hold back, making impossible demands to try to punish us for leaving. Wake up to what the EU actually is and don’t think they have our interests at heart, they never have in 40 years.

          • mancunius
            Posted July 11, 2019 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

            No deal is possible with the EU until we leave. And they are not the only fish in the sea of global trade.

          • Kevin Lohse
            Posted July 11, 2019 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

            Having a deal with a friendly nation sympathetic to us will make a deal with a federation at odds with our wishes that much easier.

          • Alan Jutson
            Posted July 11, 2019 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

            Almost Dead

            Where on earth do you get the idea that we should/would only want to do a deal with the USA.

            Surely it is our interests to do as many deals as we can with the whole of the World including the EU if will see sense, then the future will certainly look brighter

            And no I do not wish our Nation to get on its knees for anything,
            although looking at how far May has gone with her begging it would not have been much longer with her in charge.

            Try reading the second paragraph again if you want to look for where the possible root of the problem is, as I would suggest it is their aim and their actions they are trying to keep is tied and run by the EU, and if they can upset a supporter or many supporter Nations by disruption by any means, then that helps their aim and cause.

        • margaret howard
          Posted July 11, 2019 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

          Alan Jutson

          ” been briefing against our UK interests to Mr Barnier ”

          Maybe M. Barnier or those other wicked Europeans leaked?

      • Anonymous
        Posted July 11, 2019 at 8:17 am | Permalink

        Reply to reply: Indeed. Scorched earth.

    • agricola
      Posted July 11, 2019 at 6:00 am | Permalink

      Agree your reply. Involving the Brexit Party is a bridge too far.

      • Hope
        Posted July 11, 2019 at 7:16 am | Permalink

        Oakshot has issued a solicitors letter threatening to sue the Guardian for errant nonsense like you imply RD, suggest you are mindful of what you write.

        Brexit party already successful in suing SNP MP for smears as well.

    • stred
      Posted July 11, 2019 at 6:21 am | Permalink

      The ambassador’s words are there for all to see. He suggested that Trump had stopped the military for hitting Iran in retaliation for downing an unmanned drone because of electoral reasons. Trump had said that killing people was not proportionate and wisely chose to use cyber attacks or non-lethal retaliation. Trump should ask for an apology or sue him personally, and the UK taxpayer should not pay.

      On the radio this morning there was the usual gurgling from the swamp. Some ex-civil servant in a cushy quango was so horrified about the treatment of her Trump bashing hero and suggested that he should be enobled. Sir I-Hate-Trump and Brexit Duncan of the We Hate Trump and Brexit Foreign Office was bashing Boris for not wanting to screw up the relations between our biggest ally. And the bitter old bat in no 10 was showing her true colours. Can’t some MPs get together and tell her she won’t be be put in the House of Quislings if she doesn’t keep sabotaging the incoming leader?

    • Woody
      Posted July 11, 2019 at 6:58 am | Permalink

      I also think that the leak, one of a number over the years, is an indication that our own civil service administration is not fit for purpose. It does show the signs of being an inept, incompetent and dysfunctional organisation to allow this to happen. Maybe the heads that tumble should be higher in the civil service tree.

    • L Jones
      Posted July 11, 2019 at 6:59 am | Permalink

      Speaking of ”arrant nonsense” – how on earth can this debacle possibly be in the interests of Brexiteers? Such muddled thinking is typical of remains, I would say.

      ‘Let’s find anything, no matter what, that we can wrap around a brick and use it to throw at Brexit.’

      To suggest that (non government Brexiteers ed) are culpable is outrageous.

    • BR
      Posted July 11, 2019 at 11:24 am | Permalink

      Farage had moved on, proving that he has no interest in power, only justice and an independent, sovereign Britain. To call him ‘extremist’, ‘far right’ etc shows the desperation of remoaners who have no logical argument to put forward.

      All we hear is Project Fear and disparaging assertions. Their only attempt at an argument is to claim rather feebly that there will be economic damage, without ever saying exactly how that will come about.

      You won’t change anyone’s mind with that, you will only rabble-rouse those who already agree with you, those with the same visceral attachment to the EU.

    • dixie
      Posted July 11, 2019 at 11:44 am | Permalink

      I doubt the leaker was a pro-leaver.

      It appears nothing was done about similar leaks in November 2016 when the euphilics probably believed they could defuse brexit so the key thing here is timing.

      Consider the outcome, the current ambassador has broken the relationship with Washington perhaps stoking some anti-UK moves ahead of any serious discussions over trade. Boris is immediately blamed for the ambassador having to resign yet helpfully this will happen while Hunt is FO and May is still PM which wouldn’t have been the case if Darroch had retired as planned at the end of this year.

      Except, Boris kept schtum and did not leap to the defence of a pro-EU diplomat which might have muddy things with the US if/when he takes over as PM.

      I wonder who May had lined up – Mark Sedwill?

    • NickC
      Posted July 12, 2019 at 12:25 am | Permalink

      Ron Delaney, There are no such people as “extremist Brexiteers”. It is not extreme to want your country to be independent.

  5. Lifelogic
    Posted July 11, 2019 at 5:27 am | Permalink

    “We need someone who likes the USA and respects the democratic decision of US voters” indeed and one who respects the democratic decision of UK voters to leave the EU too.

    What on earth is Alan Duncan one about with his absurd attacks on Boris for “throwing him under a bus” and failing to support him. The ambassador’s position was totally untenable. If anything he was rather too slow to resign, but sensibly did the right and honourable thing in the end.

    To blame Boris for it is absurd. Having a strongly pro EU ambassador and (thus someone who was anti-any US trade deal) when government policy was supposedly to leave the EU was a big mistake. He was always the wrong man for the job.

    • Penpusher
      Posted July 11, 2019 at 5:54 am | Permalink

      Well, I am a civil servant, and I respect the democratic decision of UK voters to leave the EU, but my problem – and the problem of all civil servants – is that I have no clue what that “democratic decision” was. Leave, and retain frictionless trade in a free trade area stretching from Iceland to Russia, as M Gove promised: yes, we can do that, it means joining EFTA. Leave, and keep the exact same benefits, as D Davis: yes, we can do that, it means signing up to full regulatory alignment with the EU. Leave, and keep the Irish border invisible: yes, we can do that, in fact we did that, but J Redwood and his pals voted it down in Parliament. We could leave and trade with the world on WTO terms if you really want – but that is not what was said in 2016 by Brexiters, and it is not what Parliament wants either. And Brexit is all about restoring power to Parliament, right?

      Reply Leave means leaving without signing the Withdrawal Agreement which locks us back in. I said throughout the referendum campaign leaving with no deal was fine, and leaving with a Free Trade Deal would be better. I also pointed out only if we threatened to leave with no deal was an FTA more likely.

      • Know-Dice
        Posted July 11, 2019 at 7:27 am | Permalink

        Penpusher, the only official options offered to those that voted in the Referendum were detailed in the leaflet sent to every household in the UK.

        The only choice on the ballot parer was Leave or Remain, the people of the UK as a whole voted to Leave, not the method by which we leave…just Leave.

        Clearly the Civil Service failed to advise the Government of the day of the issues that would need to be considered with this very simple Leave/Remain choice.

        • margaret howard
          Posted July 11, 2019 at 3:13 pm | Permalink


          “the people of the UK as a whole voted to Leave,”

          No they didn’t – the people of England did by a small minority while the people of Scotland and NIreland voted overwhelmingly to remain.

          • sm
            Posted July 11, 2019 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

            We can all play with numbers, Margaret:

            population of England – over 56 million
            population of Scotland – less than 5 1/2 million
            population of N Ireland – less than 2 million

            and population Wales (mainly voted Leave) – more than 3 million

      • Barbara Castle
        Posted July 11, 2019 at 7:40 am | Permalink

        The obvious bias of your post is there for all to see, Penpusher.

        The proposals that keep us in the suffocating embrace of the EU are all met with your response, “yes, we can do that”. Suggest that we should actually LEAVE under the only neutral terms available to us, WTO, and your tone changes to, “we could do that if you really want”. We do, so kindly deliver it.

      • Woody
        Posted July 11, 2019 at 7:53 am | Permalink

        If any comment highlights the dysfunctionality of the civil service this comment does that. … “but my problem – and the problem of all civil servants – is that I have no clue what that “democratic decision” was”. Unbelievable cant. The democratic decision was to leave the eu. Simple, but bureaucrats don’t like simple .. “simple” doesn’t keep them attending meetings and making reports.

      • Mark B
        Posted July 11, 2019 at 8:23 am | Permalink

        Well I voted for us to become an independent sovereign nation once more. It was never about trade.

        And Remainers inbetween all their fear mongering ever stopped to tell us what EVER CLOSER UNION ever meant ? No ! But perhaps you could?

        • acorn
          Posted July 11, 2019 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

          My best definition of an ever closer union would be the United States of America. You may be aware that California has replaced the UK as the fifth largest economy on the planet, despite it only having 60% of the UK’s population. It contributes a lot to US federal government taxes. Yet, I have never met any there who were clamoring for California to do a “Brexit” from the US Union.

          • Edward2
            Posted July 12, 2019 at 5:40 am | Permalink

            They get to vote for their President.

      • Alan Jutson
        Posted July 11, 2019 at 8:24 am | Permalink


        Unless you are a Civil Servant with some direct input into the negotiations do you simply not do as you are instructed to do, and work towards that end ?

        If you have not been given clear instructions, then that is a problem further up the line, and it goes up the line until it eventually gets to the person who should be issuing the instructions.
        What on earth has been going on, has everyone just been wasting their time at taxpayer expense with their own agenda’s ?

      • Brian Tomkinson
        Posted July 11, 2019 at 8:24 am | Permalink

        Your role as a civil servant is to carry out the governments instructions, not to speculate upon what was or was not said in 2016. In fact your contribution here gives the strong impression that you are far from impartial but clearly well versed in the arguments and language of Remainers.

      • Anonymous
        Posted July 11, 2019 at 8:31 am | Permalink

        You should have gone with what was described in the Government leaflet to every household. The official version of what Leave meant. Having No Deal as an option (dare I say, threat) was vital to getting a deal.

        No Deal not to be aimed for but a distinct possibility as in every negotiation. Instead we got someone who walked into a car show room and said “I want that car. I want that car today. I’m not leaving without that car. Now. Cut me your best deal.”

        As it is I think our civil service caused Brexit.

        You are responsible for our governments turning out the same whichever way we vote – especially on *uncontrolled* (being specific) immigration.

        You did not listen despite being told time and time again that it was not what The People wanted.

        So we did the only thing we could. We started rejecting the mainstream conservative option and forced the Tories into a referendum (which should have taken place at the time of Maastricht.) But doubtless the civil service didn’t think we needed consultation.

        Please respect us for using the ballot box, unlike the various groups which get your fuller respect by other means.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted July 11, 2019 at 9:44 am | Permalink

        To reply – exactly right.

      • Fishknife
        Posted July 11, 2019 at 11:00 am | Permalink

        The Ambassador’s language merely exhibits what the FO accepts by way of discourse. That acceptance illustrates the institutional bias in the establishment, and the destain that is, apparently, commonplace.

        Penpusher, I would take issue with you that “Brexit is all about restoring power to Parliament, right?”
        No, the Referendum was about restoring power to the people. In essence it asked who we wanted as arbiters of our existence, a foreign overlord or ourselves. Both Parliament and the Civil Service have ignored the distaste the voting majority has for Federalisation (and the Liberal Elite), and what it will entail.

        If we felt that the benefits of the Common Market outweighed our freedom we would have put our tick in the ‘remain’ box. We didn’t, we voted, and have/will pay, to make our own cock-ups. A withdrawal agreement, leaving us outside the tentacular reach of the EJC, in control of migrants and our wallets – would be a bonus.

      • sm
        Posted July 11, 2019 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

        Penpusher, I suggest you wrote this with your tongue firmly in your cheek! If you are a half-way senior Civil Servant, you are entitled to give some advice to your Dept’s ministers – when the Referendum Bill was being drafted, did any of your colleagues firmly recommend there should be a clear definition within the legislation of both Remain and Leave?

        Did anyone in the Civil Service advise at what level of majority the outcome should be taken as a win? Or advise clearly whether the outcome should be regarded as binding or advisory?

      • NickC
        Posted July 12, 2019 at 12:46 am | Permalink

        Penpusher, You quite clearly do not “respect the democratic decision of UK voters to leave the EU”. That’s because all your options except the last ( which you clearly dislike) involve the EU still controlling the UK.

        The word “Leave” is Primary school level. It is really not that difficult to understand. If you’re struggling, look it up. We voted to leave the EU treaties – which clearly means we cannot immediately rejoin via a different treaty.

        Personally I never thought the EU would give us a good (zero tariff) trade deal, and have said so since 2013. But if we got one – provided we were no longer in the EU or ruled by it in any way – I could live with it. However 45 years shows I shouldn’t trust the EU. And your comment – if it really represents civil service thinking – means I don’t trust you lot either.

    • agricola
      Posted July 11, 2019 at 5:57 am | Permalink

      Yes I found Alan Duncan’s reaction both appalling and oportunist. There are some very nasty individuals in politics we would be well rid off at the next GE.

    • Glenn Vaughan
      Posted July 11, 2019 at 6:33 am | Permalink

      I doubt that there is a more pompous and intellectually challenged M.P. currently than Alan Duncan. UGH!!

      • Lifelogic
        Posted July 11, 2019 at 9:47 am | Permalink

        Private schools, head boy followed by St Johns Oxford – Politics and Economics it seems.

        • margaret howard
          Posted July 11, 2019 at 3:18 pm | Permalink


          And Boris?

          Born in New York City to wealthy upper-middle class English parents, Johnson was educated at the

          European School of Brussels,
          Ashdown House,
          and Eton College.

          He read Classics at Balliol College, Oxford, where he was elected President of the Oxford Union in 1986.

          • rose
            Posted July 11, 2019 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

            He won a scholarship to both Eton and Oxford. Odd that you leave that out.

        • Kevin Lohse
          Posted July 11, 2019 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

          What a waste of a good education.

    • Nigl
      Posted July 11, 2019 at 6:41 am | Permalink

      Indeed. Alan Duncan’s was the shrill response of the elite establishment who knows their time is up. Certainly I hope it is for him. The report was written in intemperate language and one sided showing us that the establishment on the other side of the pond have a similar sneering attitude to ours.

      The question is. Is there anyone from the pool of potential ambassadors that isn’t rabid pro EU? Their track record suggests not.

      I see that the potential U.K./US trade deal has been held back over the last years by staff shortages and communication problems in Whitehall. Now where’s that tumbril?

    • Jiminyjim
      Posted July 11, 2019 at 6:53 am | Permalink

      I’m afraid that Sir Alan Duncan has, through his intemperate and inaccurate outbursts, shown that he is not fit for ministerial office.

    • Peter
      Posted July 11, 2019 at 6:58 am | Permalink

      Alan Duncan never misses an opportunity to attack Boris Johnson. The arch Remainer is his fiercest critic and the media are more than happy to give airtime to this puffed up little man.

      Duncan will soon be returned to the back benches and like many others he is making as much trouble as possible before that happens.

      Likewise Hammond was on Peston last night. He wisely refrained from attacking Johnson over the ambassador issue. However, he spoke on the John Major legal threat and repeated his threat to thwart leaving on WTO terms.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted July 11, 2019 at 7:04 am | Permalink

      Were there resignations in the USA or Germany when previous unflattering leaks were revealed?

      I do not recall any. President Trump should have put on his big boy pants and realised that an ambassador is likely to report on the good and the bad.

      • graham1946
        Posted July 11, 2019 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

        Report, yes, publish, no. Would you do business with someone who said such things about you? I wouldn’t do anyone like that any favours and the fact that after 3 years he has achieved nothing for this country shows the calibre of this person. Another time server waiting for a place in the House of the Politically Dead.

      • Kevin Lohse
        Posted July 11, 2019 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

        But this ambassador took his reports directly from CNN and the DNC. Reportedly, he had thrown a party to celebrate Hillary’s coronation on the night the results came in. None of this is impartial and accurate.

  6. Ian Wragg
    Posted July 11, 2019 at 5:37 am | Permalink

    No doubt Mrs May will continue with her slash and burn policy by appointing Sedwill or Robbins.

    • graham1946
      Posted July 11, 2019 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps Boris will have a word in one or two ears to save embarrassment.

  7. Dominic
    Posted July 11, 2019 at 5:40 am | Permalink

    Darroch was an EU diplomat purporting to be a British diplomat. The virus that is the EU has infected deep into the bowels of the British State. Blair and Labour understood Gramsci. The Tory establishment aided and abetted the process.

    It’s going to take huge reformation, political will and the election of BP MPs to purge the British State and our public institutions of the Europhile, liberal left.

    Tory Eurosceptic MPs like Sir John may have understood and watched as this infection took place but without political power they were helpless to intervene

    The BP must replace Labour as the official opposition. The Tories must work with them. A centre-right alliance can destroy the Left and prevent this nation from harm.

  8. Lifelogic
    Posted July 11, 2019 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    Hopefully once Boris is elected he will scrap Committee on Climate Change and fire Lord Debden. What absurd suggestions, endless drivel and alarmist propaganda they come out with. Baroness Brown on radio 4 yesterday (she apparently has a Nat Sci degree from Cambridge) and so should know far better. Perhaps she just did all the zoology options or has forgotten it all? Get Peter Lilley in to bring some sense into energy policy.

    Anyone who supports scrapping gas boilers, goes on about hydrogen trains or importing wood to burn in power stations and count it as low carbon is clearly rather deluded.

    Cut out all people with the many direct conflicts of interests in this area too.

    • steve
      Posted July 11, 2019 at 7:41 am | Permalink


      “Anyone who supports scrapping gas boilers, goes on about hydrogen trains or importing wood to burn in power stations and count it as low carbon is clearly rather deluded.”

      Yes I know it does sound stupid doesn’t it ?

      Fine, in that case I should build my own Boiler and steam turbine generator, and fuel it with wood. I will then be off grid, and with a low carbon footprint I should be entitled to some kind of financial incentive.

      The thing is, LL, they’re so far up themselves as to actually believe the crap they come out with.

      1) Electric cars that are, well…..next to useless and always will be.
      2) Banning Gas Central heating…..electric heating is viable then ?….I don’t think so.

    • Man of Kent
      Posted July 11, 2019 at 9:27 am | Permalink

      I am afraid that under Boris none of what you hope for will happen .
      His whole family and partner are all for the climate crisis viewpoint .
      He himself is inclined that way .

      I reconciled this negative with his positive view on Brexit and decided that Brexit is the current priority .
      So he got my vote .
      Once achieved it will then be a helluva fight to sink the climateers and their ridiculous claims .

      So if Boris does as you suggest that will be a huge bonus to me !

      • Lifelogic
        Posted July 11, 2019 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

        Hopefully he is just making green wash noises and is not a real believer!

      • rose
        Posted July 11, 2019 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

        I don’t think Boris buys the CO2 nonsense. He is interested in conservation of wildlife etc. but it must be awkward having all those conformists in the family.

  9. agricola
    Posted July 11, 2019 at 5:53 am | Permalink

    Sad that his Washington career should end thus, but rjght that he decided to go. An ambassador to whom all doors have been closed cannot function. His views were less than impartial. They reflected those of a career civil servant with no understanding of a President who comes from a successful business background rather than the political pedigree that the ambassador could recognise in others. His comments were too partial. Was he saying what our government wished to hear.

    Irrespective of the above, the leaker must be persued with the utmost vigour. In breaking the official secrets act as he/she has, they have done great damage to UK/USA relations. It also puts a big question mark against those who made the decision to publish. Where do their loyalties lie. Is their interest solely in their circulation or do they have a more sinister motive. In this case the great british public did not need to know.

    It would not be advisable to appoint a new ambassador until after our new PM is in office. I would not trust any choice made by May. The new PM also needs to look at who has access to ambassadorial communications and limit it on a need to know basis. This has been an event producing losers almost exclusively.

  10. Richard1
    Posted July 11, 2019 at 6:01 am | Permalink

    The sequence of events has been:-
    1. The UK’s ambassador sends highly tendentious reports on the US administration to the govt expressed in the immoderate language of a tabloid journalist, not the Latin epigrams in which I thought the FO’s mandarins communicated;
    2. The FO then circulates these clearly by an insecure means, despite their capability to blow up the UK-US relationship at an important time, to dozens, perhaps hundreds of people;
    3. Some despicable individual (if it isn’t actually a hostile power) leaks these docs
    4. Boris Johnson, though he is not even a minister in the govt, is universally held responsible, with BBC journalists sagely wagging their heads at his supposed lapse.

    Of course the ambassador had to resign irrespective of the pronouncements of any politician. Had the ambassador eg to an important EU ally sent a similarly derisive report on the personality of the leader of his host govt, of course he’d have had to go and rightly so. He’d have been unable to carry out his function of representing us to that govt.

    I hope mr farage isn’t appointed, though these are extraordinary times, and the new PM is going to have to make inspired and perhaps risky appointments to have any chance of success. I hope we can find a professional and experienced diplomat from the FCO who meets the criteria you outline.

    • Richard1
      Posted July 11, 2019 at 6:03 am | Permalink

      I mean of course in the case of such a missive from an EU ambassador had it been leaked.

  11. KeithL
    Posted July 11, 2019 at 6:05 am | Permalink

    Why not appoint Kellyanne Conway, an American, and special advisor to the President, she is an outsider, and is bound to give favourable reports to both Trump and to London. end of story

    • Mark
      Posted July 11, 2019 at 10:16 am | Permalink

      There is already a US ambassador to the Court of St James.

  12. Bryan Harris
    Posted July 11, 2019 at 6:06 am | Permalink

    An Ambassador appointed by a Tory government needs to be aware that Democrats have effectively declared war on Trump, not because he’s a bad president, but because he won – the Democrats have as much integrity as the libdems and labour have, and unless the new Ambassador understands this he will get sucked into the various intrigues democrats are acting out to spite Trump.
    Of course the new Ambassador has to have contacts with all parties concerned, but he should not represent the misplaced hatred from either the democrats or the May government.

  13. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted July 11, 2019 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    The Remainers are desperate to destroy the U.K./USA relationship and with it the trade deal. They know that once We are free of the EU, and fly their lies will be exposed for everybody on earth to see.
    Boris needs to get us out well before 31st October and quash this ridiculous ongoing Remainer activity – remove all hope of Remain ASAP. Then if Alan Duncan etc cant see their way to standing for the Tory Party they can be replaced by Brexiteer candidates – the Brexit Party has demonstrated the quality available – and a Tory landslide is in the offing!

    • a-tracy
      Posted July 11, 2019 at 9:16 am | Permalink

      It’s a shame Richard Tice isn’t a Conservative he is a very impressive chap.

      • rose
        Posted July 11, 2019 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

        He used to be one.

  14. L Jones
    Posted July 11, 2019 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    Any Diplomat should be able to use diplomatic language in a measured and temperate way to describe any situation – so that his/her bosses can grasp the implications and understand inferences. If he/she can’t do this without indulging in slights and sneers and what can be seen as abuse by the host country, then they’re not worth the huge salary and perks they receive.

    Shoot the ‘messenger’ by all means – they’re culpable. But this has shown up Mr Darroch to be insensitive and arrogant, and not the sort of person we need to represent our country, especially at this critical time.

    • miami.mode
      Posted July 11, 2019 at 11:07 am | Permalink

      LJ, almost hilarious how he has been praised for his many years of public service as though he had suffered a low salary with poor working conditions and was doing us a favour by taking the job on when, in fact, the opposite is true.

      Thousands of people in the private sector would give their proverbials for such jobs where dismissal is almost unheard of and the benefits are far beyond what most workers could aspire to.

  15. Mark B
    Posted July 11, 2019 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    The new Ambassodor will probably be chosen by the current PM, so expect him or her to continue in the same vein.

    To blame the person who leaked the private information is just a deflection tactic. The reason he had to go was the reports were subjective, partisan and misleading.

    • steve
      Posted July 11, 2019 at 7:50 am | Permalink

      Mark B

      “To blame the person who leaked the private information is just a deflection tactic.”

      Never the less the leaker’s identity should be disclosed, as we have a right to know if the incident was in any way motivated by EU/ Remain sympathies.

      I think there needs to be a public inquiry…….or a good old fashioned witch hunt.

    • a-tracy
      Posted July 11, 2019 at 9:15 am | Permalink

      If Mrs May loves our Country she will put a pro-American in this role, I’d put someone like Tim Montgomery or ask Daniel Hannan who he’d choose. We need to up our game in global worldwide exports and this entails improving our relations with the current President and his team in the Whitehouse.

      • AlmostDead
        Posted July 11, 2019 at 10:49 am | Permalink

        Why not just appoint an American? Give up any pretence that the UK is an independent state.

        • Anonymous
          Posted July 11, 2019 at 11:27 am | Permalink

          Well why wait ’til now to give up any pretence that the UK is an independent state ? Now that Trump is PotUS.

          Europhiles could have called that one any time in the last twenty years.

        • roger
          Posted July 11, 2019 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

          Whatever gave you the impression that we are an independent state at this time?
          Our laws are passed to us by the EU, our justice is overridden by the ECJ, we have a standing army of less than one hundred k, and our navy has shamefully been shrunk to the point where we no longer have enough ships to protect our merchant shipping through the Red Sea nor to prevent the ingress of invaders on an armada of ribs and cockleshells through the so called English Channel.
          The union flag of four once proud nations has had it’s constituents removed to the extent that the HoC and the HoL are left with just the background white to run up every morning.
          They have no shame yet they have shamed us all now living, and betrayed the millions of patriots they sent to their deaths last century.

        • a-tracy
          Posted July 11, 2019 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

          AlmostDead, I honestly believe we have people available at the highest level of British civil or political services that would excel in America in Britains interest. We need someone who can reach the people s/he is reporting on personally and get to know the top people well perhaps Prince Andrew or Princess Anne would like the role for a couple of months until we have a new Prime Minister.

        • NickC
          Posted July 12, 2019 at 12:54 am | Permalink

          Almostdead said: “Give up any pretence that the UK is an independent state“.

          You already have done. It was you that voted for us to remain a province of your EU empire. It was (most of) us who voted for independence.

    • oldwulf
      Posted July 11, 2019 at 9:26 am | Permalink

      If the new ambassador is chosen by the current PM then I would expect him/her to be sacked by the new PM.

    • Mark
      Posted July 11, 2019 at 10:55 am | Permalink

      The person who leaked did so with some sort of malicious intent. It might have been a personal grudge against Darroch, or it might have been with the intention of damaging US-UK relations, which has certainly been the outcome. It is hard to construe as whistleblowing in the public interest and therefore excusable. The leaker fully deserves to be pursued and punished.

      Darroch had been kept in place since he was appointed in January 2016 under both Boris and Hunt as Foreign Secretaries. Any shortcoming in his performance should surely have been evident to them, and deemed acceptable in the circumstances considering the alternatives.

      The reason he had to go is simply that Trump said he will not work with him. Insults are not the issue. Trump has traded insults with Kim Jong Un, and greeted him as a great friend just a few days ago.

  16. Barbara Castle
    Posted July 11, 2019 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    I suggest that the alleged chaos of Trump administration is merely a reflection of the UK administration.

    There is clearly a policy of distributing sensitive information without any control as to who is receiving it, which is simply lazy and inept management. Sensitive information should always be cascaded on a “need to know” basis to senior staff, with carefully filtered information for others, if needed.

    This is the fundamental reason for so many embarrassing leaks, and there’s an urgent need to get a grip on the situation to protect staff and fulfil the duty of care towards them. The blame, as always, lies SOLELY with the quality of the management.

  17. steve
    Posted July 11, 2019 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    Good question, JR

    I think what we DON’T need as Ambassador to the US is someone stupid enough to make record of his personal opinion in such a way that it can fall into the wrong hands.

    Whoever the next one is, he needs to be a lot more savvy.

  18. Caterpillar
    Posted July 11, 2019 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    On US related leaks: We also hear that there has been little progress, if anything the opposite, on US-UK trade deal due to insufficient resources being put into this (perhaps here the UK is the inept, dysfunctional.and incompetent partner).

    How is progress on US-UK trade deal?

  19. Kathleen P
    Posted July 11, 2019 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    It has become increasingly apparent that Theresa May wanted to cement our close relationship with the EU going forward and spike the one with the Trump regime. Had Hillary won things would no doubt have been very different but it was clear that she did not take to President Trump personally – and who could blame her, given the missives from this Ambassador? It is clear also that she preferred the relationship with the EU to the one with the US and she seems to have done everything she could to weaken the lifeline that this Anglophile President wanted to throw us, favouring, rather, a vassal relationship with the prospect of economic failure arising from her appalling WA. The clue was when she said something to the effect, ‘We will never seek to have an economic advantage’ over the EU. The writing was on the wall then if we had but fully realized it. I very much hope that President Trump knows what has been going on in the background – in fact, I am convinced that he does, and will not hold it against us with a new PM in control.

  20. Alan Joyce
    Posted July 11, 2019 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    In another of his rather tiresome Brexit interventions, John Major says that he will personally take Boris Johnson to court if he prorogues Parliament to allow a No-Deal Brexit to go though unchallenged.

    Very timely and most helpfully, Nikki Da Costa (former Director of Legislative Affairs to the Prime Minister) on Twitter tweets, ‘I feel the need to point out that the last tactical prorogation of Parliament for political means and to avoid the Commons looking at something in more depth was by John Major to avoid the publication of a Cash for Access report when the House was sitting, leading to a long gap until the General Election.’

    If true, this reeks of hypocrisy from the former Prime Minister and one is tempted to say it is not the first time he has been caught with his trousers down! Nudge nudge, wink wink, know what I mean!

    • rose
      Posted July 11, 2019 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

      Why didn’t he, Clarke, Patten, and Heseltine refuse to resign in 1997? Alright, Patten already had.

      Why didn’t they say it wasn’t in the national interest for there to be a Blair/Brown government and they weren’t going to let it happen?

      As for the Iliberal Antidemocrats, they were the first to demand an In/Out referendum. They had over a hundred peers to crawl over the referendum bill and get it just how they wanted it, including all those fantastically expensive lawyers like Pannick.

      None of them have a leg to stand on .

  21. hans chistian ivers
    Posted July 11, 2019 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    Sir JR,

    Thank you for this commentary which seems both good and well balanced.

    I am not sure I agree with your assessment of the economic policies of the Trump administration which has led and is leading to a major federal deficit at 5.5% of GDP and the tax revenue is not following growth in the US economy leading to growing deficits which need to be financed by future generatios

    • acorn
      Posted July 11, 2019 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

      hans. Trump’s global trade tariff war isn’t doing the US domestic economy any favours. More expensive imports are causing a drop in real household spending power and causing cost increases for US domestic producers of goods, Particularly US exporters who have the additional burden of an overvalued dollar, which is actually increasing the US trade deficit! Worth having a read of John Kemp at Reuters “Column: Trade war rebounds on the United States”.

      Kemp writes: “Combined imports and exports were equivalent to just 27% of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2017, less than half the average for all OECD members, according to the World Bank.

      Trade as a share of GDP was much higher in Japan (35%), Australia (43%), the United Kingdom (61%), Korea (63%) and Germany (87%).”

      • Caterpillar
        Posted July 11, 2019 at 10:07 pm | Permalink


        The drop down to 24% occurred in 2014 (Obama) from a USA high of about 30%. One argument about USA resources, skills and economic range has been and remains that USA would still be an effective economy under autarky.

        • acorn
          Posted July 12, 2019 at 6:27 am | Permalink

          The U.S. could likely exist as a closed economy. Imagine what the price of an iPhone would be if it was 100% produced at U.S. wage rates.

          What would happen to all those US Dollar cash notes that are circulating outside the US? $1.4tn of dollars in circulation, 75% are $100 bills and 70% of those are circulating outside the US and hence not contributing to US domestic inflation.

  22. Dominic
    Posted July 11, 2019 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    If Johnson’s new Cabinet includes any Remain Tory MPs the UK will NOT be leaving the EU any time soon. It is incumbent on Tory Brexit MPs to ensure that threats are made to BJ that if he wavers he will punished

    Listening to Rudd and her vile tosh about ‘No deal Brexit’ being on the table is pure politics. This is more smokes and mirrors Remain propaganda.

    There is no such thing as a ‘No Deal Brexit’ option. It is Leave or Remain. A deal with the EU is Remain. We leave and then we negotiate a FTA with the EU.

    Johnson pushed Darroch. He needs to do the same with all Tory Remain MPs. Purge them and take no prisoners

  23. BOF
    Posted July 11, 2019 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    The Ambassador showed modest intelligence if he thought that his undiplomatic language was acceptable or would remain private. If he wished to rant he should have done it on a secure telephone line.

    I bet that the leaker is never identified.

    • rose
      Posted July 11, 2019 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

      Also, it was stupid to regurgitate the Democrat black propaganda and not get out and about outside the Washington bubble to form his own assessment. (As Woody Johnson does here.) How could it be the case that all domestic policy had failed, for example, if African American employment is at an all time high?

      • graham1946
        Posted July 11, 2019 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

        Woody Johnson isn’t a time server civil servant.

  24. Peter Parsons
    Posted July 11, 2019 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    “Economic progress?”

    The USA is currently experiencing yield curve inversion, the one event which has predicted the last 7 recessions in the USA, and at a time when the Federal deficit is widening and the US national debt is growing as a result of Trump’s policies. Trump’s tax cuts have resulted in significant declines in revenue (so much for Laffer Curve economics) and have been funded by increased government borrowing. The single biggest increase in US government spending has been on servicing debt.

    • Richard1
      Posted July 11, 2019 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      It is too early to say. The US yield curve is flat. Short term bonds are at 2% (in line with policy rates), 30-year at 2.5%. Here we have 0.5-1.5%. Germany has -0.75%-0.3%. So a similar picture everywhere. You’re right the US budget deficit has widened but the Trump administration was always clear this would happen short term due to front-loading of some measures such as expensing of capital expenditures to encourage investment in US business (which seems to be working).

      • hans chistian ivers
        Posted July 11, 2019 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

        Richard 1

        You are absolutely right but the capital investments are not increasing as planned

    • Chris
      Posted July 11, 2019 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

      Message for PP: @realDonaldTrump · 1h1 hour ago

      “Dow just hit 27,000 for first time EVER!”

      • Peter Parsons
        Posted July 11, 2019 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

        The Dow hit what was a record intra-day high in October 2007 as well. Look at what followed that.

    • NickC
      Posted July 12, 2019 at 1:20 am | Permalink

      Peter Parsons, No, the Fed yield curve between the two year and the ten year rates has not inverted. Inversion may be a good indicator of a future downturn (after about two years), but it hasn’t happened yet. So you have built your anti-Trump case on shaky grounds. That’s not because you’re politically biased, surely?

      • Peter Parsons
        Posted July 12, 2019 at 7:02 am | Permalink

        I read the economic press. The 3 month yield has been above the 10 year yield for seven weeks.

        Trump is a President who ran on a platform of eliminating the US national debt in 8 years. Instead, his policies are increasing both the deficit and the national debt year on year, at a time when, surely, the USA should be “fixing the roof while the sun is shining”. I thought Conservatives stood for fiscal discipline and responsibility.

        I’m anti-Trump, yes. I can respect a politician I disagree with if he or she at least delivers what they promised to deliver. Trump is not doing that.

  25. Alan Joyce
    Posted July 11, 2019 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    As you suggest, Mr. Darroch’s use of intemperate, immoderate and unprofessional language was unwise to say the least.

    As he neared the end of his career, perhaps he thought as a final hurrah, his description of Mr. Trump would impress his political masters. It would be the ‘talk of the town’ amongst the civil service glitterati at his retirement function. How our administrative elite would laugh as they recounted his tales of Trump’s ineptness and incompetence!

    Perhaps an ‘outsider’ should be the next US Ambassador. It might help demonstrate that the world is changing.

    • Mockbeggar
      Posted July 11, 2019 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      That doesn’t alter the fact that what is written confidentially inside the Foreign Office stays inside the Foreign Office and it is no-one’s business, politician or civil servant, to pass it on to the press.

    • Mark
      Posted July 11, 2019 at 11:07 am | Permalink

      Ambassadors compose their final dispatch for delivery when they return to London, not in dribs and drabs during their posting.

    • margaret howard
      Posted July 11, 2019 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

      Alan Joyce

      “Perhaps an ‘outsider’ should be the next US Ambassador. It might help demonstrate that the world is changing.”

      Didn’t Farage suggest himself for the job?

      If I was a conspiracy merchant I would suggest that this leak came from somebody in the Leave camp to help get him in.

      • graham1946
        Posted July 11, 2019 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

        Farage doesn’t want it – he will have much more fun turning the 2 party system into a 3 or 4 party system.

      • NickC
        Posted July 12, 2019 at 1:22 am | Permalink

        Margaret Howard, No, Farage did not “suggest himself”. Quite the opposite in fact. Still, nice try at invention and smear. Again.

  26. oldwulf
    Posted July 11, 2019 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    Someone once explained to me the nature of a diplomat.

    A man walks into the wrong hotel room and glimpses a lady in the shower.

    A gentleman would say “sorry madam” and then turn around and walk out.

    A diplomat would say “sorry sir” and then turn around and walk out.

    We need a diplomat.

  27. Bill
    Posted July 11, 2019 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    In short, the new Ambassador needs to be a ‘proper’ diplomat with no bias towards America and its elected President and work for UK interests but with the USA to secure a better relationship and improve democracy for both countries.
    The outgoing Ambassador is one of a breed of elitist civil servants who have taken control of our Country because of our poor political leadership so that they can force through their own Establishment agenda. If we are to regain democracy here, they must be stopped.

    • Chris
      Posted July 11, 2019 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

      In a nutshell, Bill.

  28. Gareth Warren
    Posted July 11, 2019 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    I hope our next appointment will be able to serve the country without taking political sides, we have many excellent previous ambassadors, the current US one though was a disgrace.

    I read on a different matter that there was an Iranian attempt to seize a British tanker in the gulf, this is not unexpected since Iran publically stated its intentions.

    Here I fear Britain has for too long been seen as a easy target that will only talk and accept any humiliation, that they publically threatened us makes me believe this to be true. Here I would like the Royal Navy to be given carte blanche authority to use all means necessary to secure shipping, Iran needs to be warned of this but I fear they will not believe us until we have acted.

    Let this be their mistake to make.

  29. BR
    Posted July 11, 2019 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    There are a few strange conspiracy theories floating around here, with no logical or factual support, it has to be said.

    The theories elsewhere include the possibility that there is a plot to install Mark Sedwill before May’s final defenestration – and apparently there was an article in the Times to the effect that May is ‘considering appointing a US ambassador’ (which I I can’t read, as a non-subscriber).

    I sincerely hope that there is a mechanism to prevent this woman inflicting any more damage on this country in her final, less-fettered days in her current role. After she leaves office, along with the spreadsheet user, I suspect that we will see her and Hammond for what they really were – I suspect that they are actually manic remoaners in the Grieve mould.

    If/when we review our constitution – and we must do that in view of the recent antics – can we please include curtailing the powers of an outgoing PM who is only PM while an election takes place to replace them as party leader?

  30. John P McDonald
    Posted July 11, 2019 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    Inept and dysfunctional, not exactly diplomatic wording. Could apply to the UK Government maybe? You can see why Trump got a bit annoyed. Black kettles and Pots and all that. Another example of the Political elite looking down their nose at someone not in the Club.

  31. Tony Sharp
    Posted July 11, 2019 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    Sir John,
    It was not so much that Dorroch was anti-trump and pro the Democratic and MSM silly stories and attitudes. It is that he and the rest of the Diplomatic Corps have been denigrating the UK and rubbishing Brexit. it is these noises off, paralleled by the Home Civil Service and the RemaINer MPs, that has caused so much confusion about the UK’s intentions and future.

  32. mancunius
    Posted July 11, 2019 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    What emerges from the Ambassador’s emails, and to the kneejerk civil service response to their leaking, is a strange lack of focused activity in actually finding the leaker – as opposed to an apparent FCO fever of prejudiced guesswork.
    Also, reading the Darroch emails, I suspect that more thoughtful diplomats of a previous generation would find them lacking in objectivity, precision and depth. Their language is that of petulant personal dislike. I realize the Ambassador’s training was as a zoologist, not as a writer of English, but surely scientific method should have trained him better in the art of analysis?

  33. mancunius
    Posted July 11, 2019 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    typo alert: ‘and to the kneejerk…’ etc

  34. People are Strange
    Posted July 11, 2019 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    “What do we need from a new Ambassador to the USA?”

    We regular people can have little idea of the roles and functions of Ambassadors.
    Are they fluent in the languages of their designated countries?
    American English is usually understandable on a linear level and a little more by British English speakers. That’s all.
    We need an Ambassador perhaps who picks up his or her attitudes and insights more than by being presented with a selection of cut-outs, scissored by ingratiating British clerks in his or her employ from The US morning Press.
    Email me the US morning press, I can play at cut-outs for Boris.

  35. David Maples
    Posted July 11, 2019 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    Darroch was completely unprofessional in his reporting back to the FCO, and deserves to lose his job! The real problem here is the mindset of the political establishment, which suffers from a bad case of not only Trump Derangement Syndrome, but Boris Derangement Syndrome too.

    Everyone should read Allister Heath in the Daily Telegraph today…end of story!

  36. Andy
    Posted July 11, 2019 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    Kim Darroch has a brass neck calling anyone else incompetent! He’s supposed to be an ambassador for us, he’s not there to offend our biggest ally.

  37. Javelin
    Posted July 11, 2019 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    Searching the FT today I see Japan, Canada, US, Aus and NZ are all frustrated by the ambassadors and civil servants dragging their feet on trade deals.

    Could this possibly be a deliberate attempt by civil servants to scupper the UK leaving the EU.

    My guess is that they call it “Phase 2”.

    It requires a replacement of all the ambassadors with pro UK people b

  38. John Hatfield
    Posted July 11, 2019 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    What we don’t need is another over privileged establishment nob.

  39. Geoffrey Berg
    Posted July 11, 2019 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    The 9 July blog on Sir Kim Darroch was really good. He should have been fired long ago (well before his views became public) for sheer bias and so not being up to his job as Ambassador to report fairly and accurately to government, let alone for personal animosity to President Trump and possibly all right wing politicians.
    Too many Ministers (the vast majority)are so poor that they accept rather than challenge rubbish advice (based on incompetence or sheer prejudice) from civil servants. The low calibre of most people now running this country (most M.Ps, most public officials both local and national, most Judges) is truly appalling. It is right of Sir John Redwood (and Sir Bill Cash) to call this out and not just tribally back incompetents because they happen to be British or public employees.
    Incidentally, congratulations to America on the fiftieth anniversary today of first landing people (Americans) on the Moon, the most historically important day of my lifetime. It will be noted as long as people walk the Earth- what an American achievement!

  40. LukeM
    Posted July 11, 2019 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

    What is needed is a secure way of transmitting reports, messages etc. Whatever happened to the diplomatic pouch? and why did the Ambassador have to commit to paper what every thinking person knows? Surely we don’t need an ambassador to report on something we can see every day on our TV screens?

  41. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted July 11, 2019 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

    There is a very good reason for appointing an Ambassador who is not actively hostile to the Trump presidency. When negotiating a free trade deal with America, there are things that we want that the President may not be minded to grant. Among them are access to the American civil aviation and armaments markets. That may well require amendments to congressional Buy American acts. To obtain a concession of that magnitude, we will need the good will of the President.

  42. rose
    Posted July 11, 2019 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

    I have been shocked by the display of embarrassingly chippy chauvinism by the PM and Foreign Secretary, and by the FCO trade union. There shouldn’t even be an FCO trade union. They don’t seem to have any idea of what diplomacy is. It is not a job opportunity for their cronies.

    Civil servants and diplomatists should be seen and not heard, unless they have wisdom to dispense, as people like Sir Andrew Green unfailingly do.

  43. Kev
    Posted July 11, 2019 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

    Instead of pushing drivers to buy electric cars, ironically with electricity generated in gas fired power plants, would it not be better for the government to push rolling out E10 fuel across the country? E10 having 10% ethanol and being CO2 thirsty produces less CO2 emissions than petrol or diesel engines.

    There are also other alternatives to electric cars:
    1) Better public transport including high speed AND punctual trains.
    2) Hydrogen Fuel Cell – with almost the same principle as electric cars, but the hydrogen storage replaces the battery. Hydrogen tank can be filled in minutes.
    3) Liquid Nitrogen (with zero carbon or NOx emissions)- basically the expansion of liquid nitrogen and phase change to gas creates enough energy to run the engine. It is currently being tested. The problem with this method is that nitrogen cannot stay in liquid phase for too long unless refrigerated. This can be overcome to some extent by good insulation. A benefit is that nitrogen is a by-product of oxygen generation and is cheaply available in air.
    4) If all the above sound expensive solutions, then the cheapest alternative is CNG cars. They produce far less emissions than petrol or diesel cars, but must usually be combined with petrol engine to enable switching between the two.

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    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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