A Lords select committee that scrutinises the country’s international relations has spoken out on recent geopolitical shifts and Britain’s place in the tumultuous global community. Specifically, it stressed that the Trump administration’s policies have been negatively influencing US-UK relations.
The House of Lords Select Committee on International Relations issued a 117-page report on Tuesday focused on wide-ranging issues, from international relations to cybersecurity, and from the rise of China to the “Russian threat”.
The paper in large part is dedicated to London’s ties with Washington, its closest and biggest ally, and says that the UK should “continue to resist US challenges to the multilateral system” and seek to boost key international institutions such as the UN, NATO and the WTO.
The peers, chaired by former Tory MP and politician Lord Howell of Guildford, contend that while the UK and the US are “deeply entwined” in defence and intelligence, the Trump administration has made several moves that oppose Britain’s interests.
“In particular, US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement on climate change, the Iran nuclear deal and the UN Human Rights Council, and the imposition of trade tariffs on its allies, undermine efforts to tackle pressing global challenges of critical importance to the UK”.
Further damage to the US-UK relations, the report goes on, would depend on whether the current challenges between the two are an “enduring trend”. It warns that if Donald Trump secures a second term or if his successor adopts a similar policy, the damage would be “longer-lasting”.
Interestingly, the International Relations Committee does not attribute recent changes in the US policy to Donald Trump alone; it surmises that the “America first” approach marks a shift toward protectionism stemming from the US losing its dominant role.
“Some of the foreign policy decisions of the US Administration do not stem solely from the election of President Trump — they represent a broader shift towards a more inward-looking US, which is less focused on the transatlantic alliance and multilateralism, and the sense of the US losing power to other sources”, the paper concludes.