Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Britain Rejects Trump's Call To Make Nigel Farage US Ambassador

In his latest surprising tweet on Monday evening, Donald Trump revealed an unprecedented expression of support for Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage - whom he met after his election victory before any other EU leaders - to be made British ambassador to Washington, saying "many people would like to see Nigel Farage represent Great Britain as their Ambassador to the United States. He would do a great job!."

In response, Farage said: "I'm very flattered by the comments and I have said since I met the president-elect that I would like to do anything I can to act in a positive way to help relationships between our two countries." He then added on Twitter that "I have known several of the Trump team for years and I am in a good position with the President-elect’s support to help."

However, Prime Minister Theresa May, who congratulated Trump on his victory, was swift to reject such an undiplomatic proposal. "There is no vacancy," a Downing Street spokesman said when asked about Trump's remark on Tuesday. "We already have an excellent ambassador to the US."

As Reuters points out, it is highly unusual in the modern era for leaders to publicly suggest to foreign nations whom they would like to see as ambassador, though during strained relations they sometimes reject or expel envoys.

The way ambassadors are chosen in the United States and Europe differ significantly. It is common practise for the United States to appoint celebrities or campaign donors as envoys, for example when Richard Nixon appointed Shirley Temple as his envoy to Ghana in 1974. European states mostly appoint career diplomats or officials with long experience as ambassadors.

Farage, who spent decades campaigning for Britain to leave the European Union and helped force former Prime Minister David Cameron call the June referendum that brought the Brexit vote, spoke at a Trump rally during the U.S. campaign and visited the president-elect after his victory. As leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP) and one of the key figures of the successful Brexit campaign, Farage has repeatedly angered EU leaders by predicting the collapse of the EU, which he says is run by an out of touch elite of "idiots".

Farage said Trump's suggestion that he serve as ambassador had come "like a bolt from the blue" but Trump understood loyalty in a way that those in the "cesspit" of career politics did not.

"I am in a good position with the President-elect’s support to help. The world has changed and it's time that Downing Street did too," Farage said in an article written for the Breitbart news website. "I would do anything to help our national interest and to help cement ties with the incoming Anglophile administration," Farage said.

- Source, Zero Hedge