Tel. +44 (0)20 7287 4414
Tel. +44 (0)20 7287 4414
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.

With the Anglosphere Champion Gone from the Oval Office, We Shall Have to Lump it for Four Long Years


In November, Nigel Farage tweeted, "Biden hates the UK," That statement may have been deliberately unnuanced for effect, but it contains more than an element of truth. So too, many on this side of the Atlantic wonder if Biden, hell bent to roll back the policies of his predecessor that made America safer and more prosperous, and willing to bow to those elements which want to erase our history because they feel they must apologise for America, wonder if he harbours hostility for his own country.

In flagrant contrast to the main theme of Biden's inauguration pledge - to be "a president for all Americans" and to unify and moderate - the tsunami of executive orders during his first days in office demonstrates that the real goal is to pander to the Left's most extreme and revolutionary ambitions. And if that hypocrisy is not enough, Biden is committed to restoring—and doubling down on— the failed policies of Barack Obama that brought victory to Donald Trump in 2016. This should alarm freedom-loving Americans and their friends abroad.

Trump was swept to power because Americans were fed up with the bully pulpit of politicians, media, arts and business leaders who subscribed to the notion that America was a nation of which to be ashamed, rather than a force for good and bastion of freedom. Ordinary Americans regarded with disgust efforts to supplant their beliefs, history and values, not to mention their livelihoods, and national and financial security. Voting for President Trump was the manifestation of their finally having had enough of the subversion of American interests and perversion of American ideals by urban elites, turbocharged throughout the Obama era, to favour foreign influence, transnationalism and anti-American ideologies—such as socialism.

Faithful to his word, Trump put American interests first. He improved the lot of most Americans, especially those who had been left behind and alienated in the Obama years. Trump's economy delivered increased prosperity and jobs for nearly everyone. This did not go unnoticed by African-Americans and Hispanics, his support from whom was well up in the 2020 elections - to the astonishment and deep chagrin of the Left. Delivering on his promises, Trump shattered the narrative that only the Left can represent minority interests.

President Trump exposed the same leftist hypocrisy called-out by Lady Thatcher when she famously retorted to Lib Dem MP Simon Hughes about wealth inequality in the United Kingdom:"Yes, he would rather have the poor poorer, provided that the rich were less rich."

Nothing is permanent in Washington which often flip-flops in its leadership, but Biden, whose pledge was to unify and moderate, has set a speed record for alienating both Americans and our allies in his first month in office. Deaf to the concerns of the 74 million who voted for his opponent, Biden's first actions indulge the ambitions of the most radical of his party. If he continues on this path, it will surely spell disaster for America's taxpayers, businesses, investors, and for its global standing. The new president 's ambitions are sheer madness for a global superpower founded upon its commitment to individual freedoms, capitalism, self-government, and rule of law.

Biden promised to seek consensus, but instead took 42 unilateral executive actions and signed 25 executive orders in less than two weeks. Let's explore just a few of these initiatives that fly in the face of national prosperity and security, and are likely to cause pain and job losses for American workers and families.

Tragically, Biden's inclinations will deliver significantly fewer, not more jobs for American workers. Instead of shutting down the economy, it must be opened up. As one of Biden's first initiatives, he signed an executive order to ban oil and gas exploration on federal lands. Shuttering the so-called Keystone Pipeline not only will cost the jobs of thousands of workers, it will reward foreign nations whose leadership hate America, such as Iran, by making us more dependent on foreign energy.

New Mexico alone is projected to lose 60,000 (7%) of its entire workforce according to Congresswoman Herrell who represents the state. So too, Louisiana Congressman Steve Scalise reports a risk in his state to 94,000 jobs as well as a loss of $6.7bn of annual Louisiana tax revenue because of the move.

The two concerned lawmakers expressed their anguish over the pipeline closure in an editorial last week in which they stated: "President Biden either doesn't understand the damage he is doing to our communities or he doesn't care….By banning a significant source of America's oil and gas supply, Biden ships our jobs and energy production to countries like Russia, Iran, and Venezuela, who don't adhere to the same environmental standards that we enjoy."

On a different topic, it is well known that American cities, especially those run by Democrats, are reeling from skyrocketing homicides and violence, pandemic closures and inept vaccine distribution, narcotics abuse, homelessness, and spending crises.

If that is not bad enough, a leading urban think tank, the Manhattan Institute has recently published: "Biden's Soft-on-Crime Posture Will Wreak Havoc on US Cities". The author, a legal expert, argues: "The election of President Biden — whose party is aligned with Black Lives Matter, who called ANTIFA 'an idea" and who cites "systemic racism" as the major problem facing black Americans — will make the next four years challenging for proponents of effective policing." The last thing America's teetering cities need are Biden's efforts to hamstring law enforcement or scale back federal funding for local police departments.

On the biggest issue of the day, the pandemic, Biden has revealed the hypocrisy of his say-anything approach. In an October 23 speech, he promised to "immediately put in place a national strategy that will position our country to finally get ahead of this virus and get back our lives."

The new president heaped scorn on Trump, the man who did more than anyone to fire the engines of American vaccine production. On the day before 1.6 million vaccine doses had been administered in the US, Biden proclaimed Trump's efforts a "dismal failure." And yet, the newly inaugurated Biden stated defeatedly in a press conference, in complete defiance of his October speech, there is "nothing we can do to change the trajectory of the pandemic in the next several months."

Appallingly, In further assaults on ordinary Americans, the Biden Administration plans to prioritise vaccine distribution to illegal immigrants and incarcerated terrorists. The US Department of Homeland Security Website states:"DHS and its Federal government partners fully support equal access to the COVID-19 vaccines and vaccine distribution sites for undocumented immigrants. It is a moral and public health imperative to ensure that all individuals residing in the United States have access to the vaccine" To add insult to injury, according to reports, "Inoculations of Guantanamo Bay prisoners could begin just days after President Biden warned that it will take "months" for the majority of Americans to be vaccinated."

Ideally, the subject of the pandemic would open even Europhile, Ireland-focused Biden's eyes to the reality that post-Brexit Britain is a blessing for the USA and a far better partner than the routinely-discredited EU. Biden should, but likely will not, concede that it was only through Brexit that Britain was able to lead the way in its vaccine rollout while a bitter EU not only faltered, but maligned and cast doubt upon British efforts. Why even Ireland expressed outrage at the EU's behaviour in involving it in attempts to prevent control vaccine imports to the UK. The proof of the EU's ineffectiveness and appalling mean-spiritedness even in a health crisis is laid bare through this event. Sadly though, President Biden is punch-drunk with outdated Irish romanticism and his attraction for transnational bureaucracies instead of sovereign nations.

Like Obama, the president under whom he served, Biden is unmoved by restoration of a strong and independent Britain. His only concern during the UK's titanic "take-back-control moment was that Ireland should not suffer any compromises. Back in September, Biden warned the UK not to cross his line: He tweeted:"'We can't allow the Good Friday Agreement that brought peace to Northern Ireland to become a casualty of Brexit. Any trade deal between the US and UK must be contingent upon respect for the Agreement and preventing the return of a hard border. Period.'

Tragically, the US-UK trade agreement, so vaunted by President Trump never came to fruition thanks to stonewalling by the democratic leadership in Congress.

The Biden Administration and fellow Democrats see Brexit as an act of self-isolation and retrenchment from the kind of global one-worldism so cherished by the Left. Britain is the USA's staunchest ally—our mother country, the fount of our freedoms, and our most trusted military and intelligence partner— but the Biden Administration will treat it much the same as the Obama one—as just one of the member states of the global community. Or worse—as Obama once threatened—as "back of the queue."

Biden's identity encompasses internalisation of a British-Irish enmity, held by generations of long-dead Irish-American immigrants. An example of this bias, ludicrous for a US president, is the occasion when he refused a BBC interview, dismissing the reporter with a curt, "I am Irish." While petty, this episode provides a window into how the man thinks. Contrast his stance with that of Kennedy – a man of Irish descent, a generation closer to the grievances, such as they were, who was able to cast off the antipathy that he might have chosen to inherit from his father, but did not.

And then there is the Churchill bust. Churchill—the greatest leader of the twentieth century in the extended confrontations against tyranny—the enduring personification of the US-UK relationship that was so critical to confounding the twin evils of Fascism and Communism. Biden's removal—on his first day as President— from the Oval Office of the Churchill bust, a gift to the USA from the UK in solidarity for the 911 attacks, can only have been deliberate symbolism and a calculated snub to the US-UK relationship. This continues the ominous tone set by his prior utterances on Brexit and Anglo-Irish relations.

Patriotic Britons likely regard with dread the passing of the baton from Trump to Biden. As I suggested in a June Newsweek article, Trump was a greatly under-appreciated champion of Britain. [] He views British exceptionalism through the same prism as he does American greatness. Consequently, it was no accident that he took every opportunity vociferously to support Brexit.

Brexiteers could not have asked for a better ally than Trump, who declared Brexit a "blessing to the world" and the vote to leave the EU a "tremendous asset, not a liability." Trump's Eurosceptiscm stems from the same opposition felt by Brexiteers, that the EU is a protectionist, sclerotic transnational that exists for self-preservation and promotion at the expense of its sovereign national member states.

Alas, we find ourselves at a moment when the Special Relationship—the world's most important global alliance—has no champion in the Oval Office—no one who celebrates, in Churchill's words, "The great principles of freedom and the rights of man which are the joint inheritance of the English-speaking world." It is not the first time. The relationship will survive. The economic and intelligence synergies are too important to falter. However, the spirit of cooperation is far different now. The spirit of this historic, globally critical relationship is something to which Biden is, at best, indifferent.

Font size: +

Contact us

Director : Robert Oulds
Tel: 020 7287 4414
Chairman: Barry Legg
The Bruges Group
246 Linen Hall, 162-168 Regent Street
London W1B 5TB
United Kingdom
Founder President :
The Rt Hon. the Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven LG, OM, FRS 
Vice-President : The Rt Hon. the Lord Lamont of Lerwick,
Chairman: Barry Legg
Director : Robert Oulds MA, FRSA
Washington D.C. Representative : John O'Sullivan CBE
Founder Chairman : Lord Harris of High Cross
Head of Media: Jack Soames