Trump and Brexit are Different

Mr Farage is grinning his way round Washington claiming that the British vote to leave the EU and the American vote for President Trump are two sides of the same coin. But he is wrong.

As I have said before (resulting in lots of abuse from people I thought were my friends), I have no right to tell Americans whom they should choose as their President. But that can’t stop me from noticing that many of Mr Trump’s policies strike me as being foolish. Were I an American I would be very frightened by his socialist attacks on free trade (as an Englishman I am definitely worried). We, in the UK, suffered horribly when Harold Wilson told us, in the 1960s, that it was our patriotic duty to “buy British”, even when British goods were vastly inferior to those produced abroad. Mr Trump apparently wants to inflict the misery of 1960s Britain on America (something President Reagan would have hated).

Is Mr Farage right to say that the popular vote to leave the EU was a vote for protectionism, for masses of tariffs, for an end to free trade? Of course he is not. Maybe he is right that quite a few people voted leave because they didn’t like foreigners. But it is nonsense to suggest they wanted to go back to old-fashioned socialist economic policies. Those of us who thought a little about the economy, rather than the more important arguments about sovereignty, disliked the EU because of its opposition to free trade (other than within its own borders). We were definitely not Trumpers. We wanted to trade with the world, not erect barriers to trade.

And is it really the case that those who voted leave shared Mr Trump’s dislike of NATO and love of Putin’s Russia? Obviously not. Our vote had nothing to do with the defence of the free world. It just didn’t arise. In so far as we were concerned about defence, we all thought NATO to be much more important than foolish EU attempts to replace it with a “common defence policy”. And the idea that decent British people wanted to help Putin to create a new Soviet Union is simply ludicrous.

But Mr Farage is not alone in having these fantasies. Sadly, many extreme supporters of rule from Brussels go along with the theory that those who favour Brexit are all Trumpers. Well, I am sorry, but they are just wrong.



15 thoughts on “Trump and Brexit are Different

  1. Quite right, Charles, it’s utterly ludicrous to suppose that anyone who voted for Brexit is automatically a Trump supporter. I am most certainly not.

    It’s not the first time that Mr Farage has been in error, or merely delusional. I voted to leave the EU despite Mr Farage being of the same opinion. It wasn’t an easy decision voting for something Mr Farage supported.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Charles, I work in a store that sells just about everything necessary to build a home, furnish, and live in it. The only thing I have ever seen coming from England is wall paper. We are a huge country that likes to buy quality, non-Chinese products that I’m sure The U.K. has to sell. I hope we do get a trade deal going with you folks so I can get Digestables right off the shelf here.

    Regarding People Brexit supporters being Trumpers, probably not. They are just ordinary people who still have something in their DNA that makes them want to be a sovereign country. It just so happens Brexit happened just before we decided Trump was out ticket out of the socialist thicket we have been being sucked into. Many of us do share the same DNA as you folks and we do act a lot alike sometimes.


  3. Whatever Trump is, he’s no conservative. Nor, perhaps, is Mrs May. However, whatever socialist tendency Trump has it is he worst possible kind: all state intervention for industry and the economy and no state intervention on behalf of people and the environment. I think I’ve seen somewhere the word corporatism to describe Trump. It has all the interventionism of socialism but completely different aims.

    I think some supporters of both Brexit and Trump (and they exist in large numbers) are drawn to the inherent nationalism of both movements. Trump’s “America first” rhetoric certainly has an echo in May’s recent speeches. Of course, putting your country first will strike many as reasonable, but there is something in their tone that is worrying. Both movements also draw on nostalgia for a time of perceived ‘greatness’ and independence which has been ‘lost’.

    So, intense focus on nationalism coupled with socialist intervention and, in Trump’s case, a boost to the military and talk of building walls and registering a religious minority. Incidentally, there was a point when drawing a parallel between Trump and Hitler required a bit of a leap even for a leftie like myself, but every day Trump is making it less of a leap.

    So I agree, Trump is not a conservative in any shape or form and it is silly to say all Brexit supporters must support Trump (just as it is silly to claim all those who would like to stay in the EU are fearful, spineless, socialist traitors) but Trump and Brexit draw a great deal of support from a resentful and disenfranchisement section of society who ‘want their country back’.


    • Colin, your final paragraph reflects my view. Both Brexit and Trump are a protest vote or anti-establishment – and that is what they both have in common, but for all the reasons Charles has mentioned, they are very different.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Regardless of the headline sound Bites of trumps first actions I suspect what we are seeing is a concerted attack on international supply chain commercial practice. Fairies and economic arguments to suggest that if the US the most advanced and substantial economy in the world changes the method of delivering goods and services to end users then actually other nationstates will follow and even trading blocs such as the EU. One might well imagine the multi-national corporations who have fingers across the globe as they managed the economic benefits of tax regime management etc etc wishing to get a more amenable outcome in the US electoral process I may well have misread the situation but that is my impression. Proselytizers of a certain kind will doubtless find this of interest. I suppose we will have to wait and see


  5. Your final sentence and the last sentence of your first paragraph are not examples of even-handedness. The words ‘I believe….’ are missing. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but not a stark assertion that they are right.


  6. In my opinion the UK got the worst deal of the two, the US will only have Trump for 8 years max, and it is a very large country, on the other hand Brexit will be permanent, and the UK is a very small non self sufficient island.

    Liked by 1 person

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