Will a Trump victory shatter the historic Anglo-American alliance?

by Katie Collins

With less than 24 hours until America decides the fate of what many have branded the most controversial election in the history of the United States, the stakes are higher than ever for both candidates, who now appear to be neck and neck in the polls.

Scandals have created a bitter narrative for the 2016 election, with both Clinton and Trump experiencing their fair share of controversy. The recent FBI investigation into Clinton’s emails and the continuous allegations regarding Trump’s sexist behavior have shaped the way America and the rest of the world view the nominees.   

At an event alongside London Mayor Sadiq Khan on 31 October, US Secretary of State John Kerry told British sixth formers that there had been moments of “downright embarrassment” during the election. Mr. Kerry added that the election had negatively impacted both American relations and perceptions abroad.   

It’s no secret that the US and Britain have worked closely together on the international stage for over a century on matters ranging from global trade to war. Relations between the political leaders of both nations have generally remained solid.  

An America governed by Republican Trump would alter US domestic policies, foreign outlook and economic agreements – but would a Trump victory splinter the special relationship that the US and the UK share?  

“I feel like if it could go one of two ways,” 21 year old Mollie McHale, a parliamentary intern said. “Either Trump will win and make the US isolationist, in which case UK-US relations will be broken. Or he will win and Theresa May will bend over backwards trying to accommodate Trump, because we need the US even more after Brexit.”

Mr. Khan, a former Labour MP, had his own public feud with Mr. Trump earlier this year. Following Trump’s claim that he would ban all Muslim’s from entering the States, Khan responded by calling the business mogul’s views “ignorant.”

The Republican candidate sparked further concern on both sides of the Atlantic when he called on former UKIP leader Nigel Farage for support, with Farage travelling to Mississippi to campaign at a rally alongside Trump.   

“As somebody who studies global geo-politics, I feel that Trump would sour UK- US relations,” undergraduate student Patrick Murphy (21) said. “Even though the UK has decided to stand on it’s own with the recent Brexit vote, we are a relatively moderate nation. Anglo-US relations are at best between two moderate and progressive heads of state.”

As Britain goes through the fallout of Brexit over the next two years, it’s apparent that the historic relationship between the UK and US will need to be sustained and perhaps strengthened – and for many British millennials it seems quite unlikely that Trump will be the leader to achieve that.

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