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The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.
The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.

Bruges Group Blog

Spearheading the intellectual battle against the EU. And for new thinking in international affairs.

Ted talks…on the Special Relationship

Dr Ted Malloch - The Oxford and Cambridge Club5mb mono.mp3

An interview with Dr Ted Malloch by Bruges Group writer Niall McCrae

Ted Malloch, CEO of Roosevelt Global Fiduciary, has served as research professor at Yale University, senior fellow at Said Business School at Oxford University, and professor of governance and leadership at Henley Business School. His most recent books concern practical wisdom in business and virtuous enterprise. His latest book is Common Sense Business; co-authored with Whitney MacMillan. Ted held an ambassadorial level position at the United Nations in Geneva and worked in the US State Department and Senate. Ted earned his PhD in international political economy at University of Toronto and is also an alumnus Gordon College and University of Aberdeen.

In this exclusive interview and podcast for the Bruges Group, Ted considers the prospects for the Special Relationship between the UK and the USA. Are we kidding ourselves that the Americans will support Britain as it untangles from the EU regime, or will this lasting bond facilitate our post-Brexit success on the global stage?

NM - What should we understand by the Special Relationship: is it merely a one-sided comfort blanket, or a meaningful and mutually beneficial transatlantic alliance?

TM - The Special Relationship is of course a phrase used to describe the exceptionally close political, diplomatic, cultural, economic, military and historical relations between the United Kingdom and the United States, following its use in a 1946 speech by British statesman Winston Churchill.

Although both the United Kingdom and United States have close relationships with many other nations, the level of cooperation between them in economic activity, trade and commerce, military planning, execution of military operations, nuclear weapons technology and intelligence sharing, has been described as unparalleled among major powers. The question, after Brexit, is: will it remain as such?

Arguably this relationship has and could have bearing on liberty not only in the Anglo-American sphere but also in all the places around the world that are still influenced by civil society. The UK and USA have been close allies in numerous military and political conflicts, including World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Cold War, the Gulf War, the Iraq War, the Afghanistan War against ISIS.

Transatlantic relations are shifting, but the Special Relationship between the US and the UK can and should remain a mutually beneficial part of the historic bridge between our two nations.

NM - Although American presidents, particularly Republicans, have nurtured a bon accord between Washington and Westminster, in broader culture there is some antipathy towards Brits. Using its artistic licence in historical movies, Hollywood frequently depicts us as the bad guys. A major funding stream for the IRA was Noraid, to which millions of Irish Americans contributed during the Troubles.And the Tea Party movement references a rebellion against imperial rule.On the other hand, a British visitor's accent is often complimented and perhaps regarded as refinement. Is it possible to generalise what Americans think of the British?

TM - A poster from World War I, showing Britannia arm-in-arm with Uncle Sam, symbolizes the Anglo-American alliance. It shows a profound Churchillian influence that has undergirded the relationship ever since. But what will it look like in 2030 or 2050?

Although the relationship between the United Kingdom and the United States was most famously emphasized by Winston Churchill, its existence had been recognized back in the 19th century, not least by rival powers. Their troops had been fighting side by side - sometimes spontaneously - in skirmishes overseas since 1859, and the two democracies shared a common bond of sacrifice in World War I.

Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald's visit to the United States in 1930 confirmed his own belief in a special relationship, and for this reason he looked to the Washington Treaty rather than a revival of the Anglo-Japanese alliance as the guarantee of peace in the Far East. However, as the historian David Reynolds observes: 'for most of the period since 1919, Anglo-American relations had been cool and often suspicious'.

America's betrayal of the League of Nations was only the first in a series of US actions - over war debts, naval rivalry, the 1931 Manchurian crisis and the Depression - that convinced British leaders that the United States could not be relied on.

As President Truman's secretary of state, Dean Acheson, recalled: 'of course a unique relation existed between Britain and America - our common language and history ensured that. But unique did not mean affection. The US had fought England as an enemy as often as it had fought by her side as an ally'.

Arguably, the fall of France in 1940 was decisive in shaping the pattern of international politics, leading the Special Relationship to displace the Entente Cordiale, as the pivot of the international system. During World War II, as an observer noted, 'Great Britain and the United States integrated their military efforts to a degree unprecedented among major allies in the history of warfare'. 'Each time I must choose between you and Roosevelt,' Churchill shouted at General Charles de Gaulle, leader of the Free French, in 1945, 'I shall choose Roosevelt.'

Churchill's mother was American, and he felt keenly the links between the English-speaking peoples. He first used the term 'special relationship' in 1945 to describe not the Anglo-American relationship alone, but the United Kingdom's relationship with both the United States and Canada. The New York Times Herald quoted Churchill in November 1945: 'We should not abandon our special relationship with the United States and Canada about the atomic bomb and we should aid the United States to guard this weapon as a sacred trust for the maintenance of peace'.

Churchill used the phrase again a year later, at the onset of the Cold War, this time to note the special relationship with the United States on the one hand, and with the English-speaking nations of the former British Empire on the other. The occasion was his famous 'Sinews of Peace Address' in Fulton, Missouri, on 5th March 1946: 'Neither the sure prevention of war nor the continuous rise of world organization will be gained without what I have called the fraternal association of the English-speaking peoples ...a special relationship between the British Commonwealth and Empire and the United States."

In the opinion of one international relations specialist: 'the United Kingdom's success in obtaining US commitment to cooperation in the post-war world was a major triumph, given the isolation of the interwar period'. A senior British diplomat in Moscow, Thomas Brimelow, admitted: 'The one quality which most disquiets the Soviet government is the ability which they attribute to us to get others to do our fighting for us ... they respect not us, but our ability to collect friends'. Conversely, 'the success or failure of United States foreign economic peace aims depended almost entirely on its ability to win or extract the co-operation of Great Britain'. Reflecting on the symbiosis, a later champion, prime minister Margaret Thatcher, notably declared: 'The Anglo-American relationship has done more for the defence and future of freedom than any other alliance in the world.'

Americans generally have a high opinion of the United Kingdom, share deep family ties and respect your traditions and culture, common law and even the Queen.

NM - Meanwhile anti-American sentiment isn't hard to find in British society.The Left is particularly critical, blaming the USA for rampant capitalism and resenting its military prowess. With the ideological bias in our schools and universities, are we in danger of a generational shift away from Anglo-American ties? Younger people, who voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU, would rather associate with Europe than the USA.

What's the impact of Donald Trump on British-American relations?Trump is cast as an ogre across the mainstream media, and he drew a huge protest rally when he came to Britain last year. But is there much unspoken respect among the British public for Trump and his tearing up of the rulebook?

TM - Arguably the Special Relationship is all about personal relationships, particularly between British prime ministers and US presidents. The first example was the close relationship between Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt, who were in fact distantly related.

Prior to their collaboration during World War II, Anglo-American relations had been somewhat frosty. President Woodrow Wilson and Prime Minister David Lloyd George in Paris had been the only previous leaders to meet face-to-face, but had enjoyed nothing that could be described as a special relationship, although Lloyd George's wartime Foreign Secretary, Arthur Balfour, got on well with Wilson during his time in the United States and helped convince the previously sceptical president to enter the war.

Churchill spent much time and effort cultivating the relationship, which paid dividends for the war effort although it cost Britain much of her wealth and ultimately her empire. The architecture of the special relationship is practical, revolving around shared goals. It has not always worked well. For instance, Harold Wilson's government would not commit troops to Vietnam. Harold Wilson and Lyndon Johnson did not get on especially well.

Peaks in the special relationship include the bonds between Harold Macmillan (who like Churchill had an American mother) and John F Kennedy, of course, between Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan, and more recently between Tony Blair and both Bill Clinton and George W Bush. Nadirs have included Dwight D Eisenhower's opposition to UK operations in Suez under Anthony Eden and Wilson's refusal to enter the war in Vietnam.

The links that were created during the Second World War - such as the UK military liaison officers posted to Washington - persist. However, for Britain to gain any benefit from the relationship it became clear, that a constant policy of personal engagement was required. Britain, starting off in 1941, as somewhat the senior partner, had found herself the junior. The diplomatic policy was thus two pronged, encompassing strong personal support and equally forthright military and political aid.

These two have always operated in tandem, that is to say, the best personal relationships between British prime ministers and American presidents have always been those based on such understanding. Most recently these have waned, as we recently read the Atlantic magazine account of what Barrack Obama really thought of former PM David Cameron.

'We could speculate on the relationship between our leaders Theresa May and Donald Trump but I won't, except to say they got off to a good start. Their first, Washington Summit was what I called in the press, "the best first date, ever." They need each other and after Brexit there is renewed interest and support for the special relationship. But it appears another PM will have to step in to the void given the results of the situation around Brexit and it is difficult to speculate who that will be or when. I can't imagine Trump getting on with a socialist radical like Mr Corbyn.'

But honestly, Theresa May did not step up, did not play her part and failed to be anything approximating a "new Maggie". For this she was scorned by Trump who came to see her as weak, feeble and the worst negotiator Britain ever deployed, just when they needed their best effort. However, it is true - the UK, especially after Brexit needs US backing, support and a bilateral trade deal mow more than ever before.

NM - Brexit and Trump are both seen as a populist rejection of the political establishment. Is this a coincidence, or is there something about a free spirit, or individualism, which made Britain and the USA more likely to stage a popular revolt?

TM - It is inane to ignore the distinction between common law and civil law or between the English definition of Rule of Law and the European Rechtsstaat. The two are radically different. The US and the UK arguably have far more in common than the EU and the UK.

This is directly challenged by the Brexit vote, wherein citizens of the UK voted to secede from the European Union for a reason. There should be no turning back. Under the EU, life has become increasingly regulated by legislation issued, centralized, and administered by Brussels. The EU, so it tells us, is 'not merely an economic union' but is intended to 'ensure social progress and seek the constant improvement of the living and working conditions of their peoples', thus it has encompassed the continental conception of Rechtsstaat, wherein government is conceived of as an enterprise, as opposed to, a civil association. This is a world apart.

EU legislation is proposed and drafted by the Commission (consisting of EU officials nominated by the Parliament, who are not elected) and then passed by the EU Council and Parliament. EU legislation comes in two forms: directives and regulations. Directives order a member country or countries to adopt legislation according to certain parameters. Regulations, once passed, are immediately effective without implementing legislation.

The treaties that founded the EU provide that some positive rights are guaranteed. The guarantee of freedom of movement has enabled populations to move from areas of low employment to areas where they are more likely to find employment. For example, unemployment among French youth is 23.7 per cent, and has averaged above 20 per cent since 1983. Overall unemployment in the Eurozone averages well over 10 per cent, reflecting weak economic growth. Youth unemployment in the UK averages far less. Overall unemployment in the UK currently stands at 4.3 per cent and is falling.

The result of Britain's comparatively lower unemployment statistics has been a significant increase in work-seeking immigrants: The UK has 500,000 work-seeking immigrants every year, and a total estimate of 2.9 million EU immigrants living in the UK.

The Brexit vote surprised and astonished people in Europe and around the world who could not – and still cannot – understand why citizens of the United Kingdom would vote to secede from the European Union. If, however, one understands not just the current problems the British citizenry believe the EU has caused them, but also understands the historical, cultural, and legal disconnect between the UK and the Continent, that decision becomes and remains entirely comprehensible. It is also cause by the current flow of more economic populism and sovereignty something that brought Trump to power and is now shaping politics in Europe and as far away as Brazil.

Prior to the Brexit vote, respected British philosopher, my friend Roger Scruton, anticipated three possible reasons why British citizens might vote to separate the UK from the European Union. His first reason was that the English have had a different attitude towards the EU: unlike the Continent, most of which had been occupied by the Nazis, the English had successfully defended their sovereignty and freedom, so their motives in joining the European Union were entirely different from those of Germany, France, and the other European states.

Next, Scruton posited, that sense of sovereignty has been challenged by the European policy of freedom of movement because English has become the world's second language. A small country, England is now more densely populated than other European countries by the influx of over 500,000 immigrants per year, who are able to function because English is their second language, and who compete with the English for jobs and housing. Consequentially, Scruton theorized that many of those who would vote for Brexit believed that the EU's freedom of movement policy cost Britain its right to secure its own borders, and thus jeopardized the island nation's sovereignty, thereby harming citizens' economic welfare and opportunities.

Scruton also posited a third potential reason for a vote in favor of Brexit: England's unique legal system and its traditional understanding of the relationship between citizen and government. He pointed out that Britain's legal system was built up from below and is structurally completely different from other European nations. In Britain, individuals traditionally bring disputes to courts, and impartial judges then 'discover' the law (rather than create it). Parliament may thereafter ratify such decisions, but often does not. This means that British law has two characteristics distinct from civil law systems: law is based primarily on conflict resolution and built up from below by the accumulation of decisions made in individual disputes and is not typically based on legislation.

The common law manages conflict; it does not totally resolve it. The common law historically recognized that the primary remedy a court can grant is money, and that it is not always a complete remedy. This is true of the USA too, as recognized by James Madison in Federalist 10. The purpose of government is to manage conflict (Madison's factions), not to eliminate interest groups and not to subsume them in a 'general will'.

Because of this difference in approach (conflict management versus legislation) EU law provokes rebellion on the part of the British, who do not accept law that is imposed either from above or from outside their country. European skills are focused on creating uniform standards, not on resolving conflicts. Consequently, Scruton argued, many Brits view EU regulatory law as producing as many conflicts as it resolves.

A major British polling company questioned voters on the day of the referendum, and found that Scruton was largely correct: voters' primary concern was an objection to EU law and legislation followed by sovereignty/immigration/economics.

Nearly half (49 per cent) of those voting to leave said the biggest single reason for wanting to leave the European Union was that they believed that legal decisions about the United Kingdom should be taken in the United Kingdom. A third of those voting to leave the EU indicated that their primary concern was immigration/economic opportunity.

Pundits often refer to the 'Western tradition'. However, this is a fiction, as there is no one Western scholarly tradition. England and the rest of the United Kingdom (and the US., if not all English-speaking peoples, for that matter) have historically had a different understanding of how law should be created, as well as a different understanding of the relationship between man and government than does the civil-law-based Continent.

As the renowned legal scholar, Dicey described it, 'the Anglo-American [Rule of Law] is a spontaneous growth so closely bound up with the life of a people that we can hardly treat it as a product of human will….' The civil law tradition is similarly connected with its own Continental history, which is entirely different.

It, therefore, behooves all concerned to make the legal break between the European Union and the UK as swift, clean, definitive, and certain as possible. There should be no halfway house, transition period, customs arrangement or rule from European courts in these British Isles.

NM - Trump's supporters believe that the Washington administration, dubbed the Deep State, is really in charge - whoever occupies the White House. Is this similar to the Civil Service and in the UK?The television series Yes Minister seems quaint compared to how the political establishment is stifling Brexit. Is it possible to bring power back to the people, so that whatever they vote for, they actually get?

TM - Sometimes art truly does imitate life. Deep State is a fictional television mini-series about a retired MI6 agent called back to do just one more job. Sound familiar?

In the real world, the Deep State is synonymous with a shadow government - a permanent yet formless administrative state that exists in contrast to the tangible public structures we've all come to know. This Deep State is secretive. It entails a fluid network that includes intelligence agencies like the NSA, FBI, CIA, and Defence Department—agencies that run on secret surveillance, intel, and cryptic communication. Agencies that play for high stakes, willing to do anything to make sure they don't lose it all. This Deep State isn't your local town council or the Department of Agriculture. In other words, it ain't your grandpa's government.

The term has been thrown around in political circles for years, but it quickly re-entered our national discourse in early 2016 when Trump talked about a cabal - a secret political faction - that operated in Washington DC of unelected officials - that 'swamp' that had to be drained, as he so demanded.

Back in 2014 Eric Snowden, the NSA whistle-blower, exposed the reach of government surveillance, saying: 'There's definitely a deep state. Trust me, I've been there'. Perhaps it is Mike Lofgren, a former congressional aide, who accurately captures the essence of the Deep State, calling it 'a hybrid association of elements of government and parts of top-level finance and industry that is effectively able to govern the United States without reference to the consent of the governed as expressed through the formal political process.'.

Its origins echo the long-standing politico term 'military-industrial complex', first warned of by President Eisenhower in his 1961 farewell address: 'In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist'. Some believe the military-industrial complex makes up only the private part of the Deep State. However, it also involves leaders in finance and technology who, too, are tied to the intelligence community and defense establishment.

In his book The New Freedom, published in 1913, Woodrow Wilson, US president during the First World War, had this to say: 'Since I entered politics, I have chiefly had men's views confided to me privately. Some of the biggest men in the United States, in the field of commerce and manufacture, are afraid of somebody, are afraid of something. They know that there is a power somewhere so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they had better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it'.

Make no mistake: the Deep State is the central actor in the plot to destroy President Trump. It works to fulfil a collective yet sometime conflicting political agenda in hopes of extending its ever-growing reach. To do so, it orchestrates either for or against a political candidate. And they were and are against this president, as evidenced by resistance and thwarting of democracy inside this administration. This is the Deep State in spades. Make no mistake, Britain has an equivalent Deep State in the civil service that tries to thwart Brexit to suit its globalist aims.

NM - For Britain to thrive outside the EU, it needs to open up new trade channels around the world. Most important, perhaps, is a trade deal with the USA.Apart from the restrictions that might be imposed by the withdrawal agreement with Brussels, Remainers, who warn of chlorinated chicken and selling of NHS assets to American businesses, hinder the prospects of free trade. Although they present themselves as globalists, much of our political establishment prefers the protectionist bloc of the EU to the Wild West of American-style capitalism. Is there justification for their fears?

TM - On June 23, 2016 the British people, in a sovereign state called the United Kingdom (consisting of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland), voted in a national referendum to decide whether they should remain in the European Union.

They voted to LEAVE.

What should Americans care? President Trump does. He said that the withdrawal agreement 'sounds like a great deal for the EU', and by that he meant that the UK might not be able to trade with the US. Sovereignty can be defined in jurisprudence as the full right and power of a governing body to govern itself without any interference from outside sources or bodies. It is clearly not our choice what the UK does, but we want the best for the British people.

President Obama you might remember spent a few days in London with Prime Minister Cameron lobbying and campaigning hard for the Remain vote. Picture this: a foreign leader intervenes in a sovereign decision of another state. How would Americans feel if some other distant world leader, say, Emmanuel Macron or Robert Mugabe, came here to tell you what to do?


Obama said Britain would 'go to the back of the queue' (line, in American parlance) in US interests if it did not vote to stay in Europe. He trotted out every argument in the book, also suggesting his globalist TTIP trade negotiations with Europe would be damaged, if the vote went to Leave.

Now honestly there are reasons for and against Brexit and the forces were about equally split.The vote came down to 52% Leave and 48% Remain.

One side won - which is what happens in a political referendum.

One side, using figures from HM Treasury (a government agency) suggested it would cost Brits jobs, economic growth and about $4000 per head by 2030, if they vote to leave Europe. The dire calculations have been questioned, and called 'Project Fear'.

The Eurosceptics, on the other hand, said nonsense, that the cost of leaving is slight and the benefits of independence and a secure immigration policy outweigh the pro-European position. They said the bureaucracy and budgetary costs (estimated at the equivalent of$500 million a week) of staying in Europe - were far too expensive. The Common Agricultural Policy, the EU's most expensive policy, accounts for 40 per cent of the EU budget - raising consumer prices by protecting inefficiency.

They also calculated that the EU prevents the UK from other open trade, costing the UK about 4 per cent of GDP to the economy. Further, for them, the Euro zone crisis demonstrates what happens when ill-matched economies enter into a monetary union. Greece, among other countries has suffered severe consequences. Two years ago few people thought the Brits would actually leave Europe, but today, after a rise in populism worldwide and growing nationalist sentiment, it is a forgone conclusion. And many more people have come to the conclusion that the country is best untied from Brussels and its undemocratic and bureaucratic ways.

European identity, let alone the flawed integrationist machinery of the Brussels experiment, is roundly questioned (detested might be closer to the prevailing view) - even in other parts of Europe. The elite that that dominates EU decision-making is social democratic, managerial, bureaucratic, and socialist with a view to higher taxation and redistribution of wealth.

But from an American perspective should we truly care? Do we really have a dog in this fight?

Former London Mayor, the ever-colourful Boris Johnson, said that the Obama position was 'ridiculous', and that his views on the subject reflect a 'part-Kenyan heritage… driving him toward anti-British sentiment.'. Nigel Farage, the ex-leader of the nationalist UKIP party, went further and told Obama to 'butt out.'.

The question US citizens should puzzle is this: would they want the United States to join anything like the EU - a federal super state that curtails sovereignty? Of course the answer is 'No'. We wouldn't want that in any way, shape or form.

And the British already, under Margaret Thatcher, decided not to become part of the flawed Euro currency and the European Central Bank. They have a kind of halfway house. In - but not all the way in. And Europe - make no mistake - wants complete political union as its end game.

They have done everything to force unfavourable terms on the UK in their long and tedious negotiations. Boris Johnson has called Prime Minister May's withdrawal deal with Brussels nothing short of making Britain into a 'vassal state'. Farage has decried Mays' deal as 'the worst deal ever.'.

So here's an interesting and novel alternative no pundit is yet suggesting, and I say it only half facetiously. If our Very Special Relationship partners (forgetting the War of Independence as a spat between cousins, as well as their torching of the White House in 1812) don't want to be Europeans (the island apart argument and Churchill's notion of the English speaking peoples), why not give them two viable alternative choices?

The United Kingdom could join our newfound agreement with Canada and Mexico and we would rename it the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement. Nothing to sneeze at and no costs attached, just a bigger free trade zone. No superstate attached.

Seriously, we all should recall a profound speech given by then former Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, in 1946, at Westminster College, in Fulton, Missouri. It was perhaps his most significant post-war speech, where he launched both the phrases 'iron curtain' and 'special relationship' into popular currency. He said the two countries shared a common history, a common language and a common literature, and that in the course of the twentieth century we'd twice been on the same side in wars to defeat tyranny and dictatorship and for liberty and freedom.

Our mutual and abiding interests, common worldview, congruence of sympathies, and the undeniably unique heritage of the Anglo-American tradition of LIBERTY is our true future together. With a shared Whig history, the King James Bible, the Anglican Church, long historical memory - all of these things make up a valuable Anglo-Atlanticist patrimony. Britain belongs there, not in Europe. The twenty-first century will much need such Anglo-American leadership more than ever before.

NM - On defence, it seems that the West is belatedly waking up to the threat of China. However, Europe is falling behind with military development. Trump has vociferously demanded fairer contributions from NATO members, but France and Germany are now pursuing a European army, rudely suggesting that USA be considered as a potential adversary. Could this disrupt NATO and lead to stronger strategic ties between the USA and the UK, with less sharing of intelligence and military resources with Europe?

TM - The intense level of military co-operation between the UK and United States began with the creation of the Combined Chiefs of Staff in December 1941, a military command with authority over all American and British operations. Following the end of the Second World War the joint command structure was disbanded, but close military cooperation between the nations resumed in the early 1950s with the start of the Cold War. Since the Second World War and the subsequent Berlin Blockade, the United States has maintained substantial forces in Great Britain. In July 1948, the first American deployment began with the stationing of B-29 bombers. Currently, an important base is the radar facility, part of the US Ballistic Missile Early Warning System.

Critics of the Special Relationship jocularly referred to the United Kingdom as the 'biggest aircraft carrier in the world'.Following the end of the Cold War, which was the main rationale for their presence, the number of US facilities in the United Kingdom has been reduced in number in line with the US military worldwide. Despite this, these bases have been used extensively in support of various peacekeeping and offensive operations of the 1990s and early 21st century. The two nations also jointly operate on the British military facilities of Diego Garcia in the British Indian Ocean Territory and on Ascension Island, a dependency of Saint Helena in the Atlantic Ocean.

The Quebec Agreement of 1943 paved the way for the two countries to develop atomic weapons side by side, the United Kingdom handing over vital documents from its own Tube Alloys project and sending a delegation to assist in the work of the Manhattan Project. The United States later kept the results of the work to itself under the post-war McMahon Act, but after the UK developed its own thermonuclear weapons, the United States agreed to supply delivery systems, designs and nuclear material for British warheads through the 1958 US-UK Mutual Defence Agreement.

Britain purchased first Polaris and then the American Trident system, which remains in use today. The 1958 agreement gave the United Kingdom access to the facilities at the Nevada Test Site, and from 1963 it conducted underground tests there before the cessation of testing in 1991. The agreement under which this partnership operates was updated in 2004. The United States and UK jointly conducted subcritical nuclear experiments in 2002 and 2006, to determine the effectiveness of existing stocks, as permitted under the 1998 Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.

The United Kingdom is the only collaborative, or Level One, international partner in the largest US aircraft procurement project in history, the F-35 Lightning II program.

A cornerstone of the special relationship is the collecting and sharing of intelligence. This originated during World War II with the sharing of code breaking knowledge and led to the 1943 BRUSA Agreement, signed at Bletchley Park. After World War II the common goal of monitoring and countering the threat of communism prompted the UK-USA Security Agreement of 1948. This agreement brought together the SIGINT organizations of the USA, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand and is still in place today. The head of the CIA station in London attends each weekly meeting of the British Joint Intelligence Committee.

One present-day example of such cooperation is the UKUSA Community, comprising the National Security Agency, the United Kingdom's Government Communications Headquarters, Australia's Defence Signals Directorate and Canada's Communications Security Establishment collaborating on ECHELON, a global intelligence gathering system. Under classified bilateral accords, UKUSA members do not spy on each other.

Following the discovery of the 2006 transatlantic aircraft plot, the CIA began to assist the Security Service (MI5) by running its own agent networks in the British Pakistani and Asian community. Security sources estimate 40 per cent of CIA activity to prevent a terrorist attack in the United States involves operations inside the UK. One intelligence official commented on the threat against the United States from British Islamists: 'The fear is that something like this would not just kill people but cause a historic rift between the US and the UK'.

So the US and UK are the bulwark of peace in the world and the backbone of NATO. They both pay 2 per cent or more of their GDP to fund NATO. Trump simply believes all members should do as they agreed and pay up.

NM - Finally, on the future of the Special Relationship. Will we see anything like the bond between Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher again, or is Great Britain of fading import to American interests as economic, political and military influence shifts elsewhere?

TM - It is proper to ask: will this relationship survive the rest of this 21st century? What if the world pivots east? The EU achieves supranational status? Or the emerging nations finally emerge? Will the UK have the same significance it once enjoyed? Will the US be the sole superpower? Does it need a junior partner?

I would conclude our conversation by restating that our mutual and abiding interests, common worldview, congruence of sympathies, and the undeniably unique heritage of the Anglo-American tradition of liberty should be our true future together. Taking up the cause of Locke and casting aside the philosophy of the European Rousseau and the practices of Bonapartism, the Brits have with America cemented their place on the side of freedom. The Anglo-Saxon rule of law and democratic spirit has triumphed over statism and the centralization of power even as it faces new challenges.

The future will much need such Anglo-American leadership; it appears more than ever before. Perhaps, herein lie the true sinews of lasting peace.

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