Yes but enough about you and your one man anti-mask-lockdown-vax campaign, can we focus on Trump for a minute please?It's a bit galling when you work so hard for the country you love, to be mocked by those whose achievements and plazas are immeasurably less grand.
Panicking No 10 dumps Donald Trump and woos Joe Biden
Ministers have been told to forge links with the White House frontrunner Joe Biden after “writing off” Donald Trump’s chances of re-election, amid fears that the UK could be left out in the cold if the former vice-president wins.
Boris Johnson has been warned that Trump is on course for a landslide defeat with his Democratic opponents set to land a historic “triple whammy” by seizing control of the presidency, the Senate and the House of Representatives.
Private polling and computer models shown to No 10 last month put Biden’s chances of victory at more than 70%. The challenger has since opened up a double-digit lead and one predictive model based on polling this weekend gave him an 85% chance of winning, with the chances of a landslide better than one in three.
The prime minister spoke to the president last week, wishing him well for the election, despite an official decision not to take sides. But one senior Tory said: “They’re writing off Trump in No 10 now.”
Dominic Raab, the foreign secretary, recently visited America and met Nancy Pelosi, the House Speaker, and other congressional figures. He also talked to Chris Coons, described as “the Biden whisperer” in the Senate, as well as Richard Neal, a congressman seen as a power broker on Capitol Hill.
Karen Pierce, the British ambassador in Washington, is wooing Tony Blinken and Jake Sullivan, Biden’s foreign policy advisers, who are tipped to be secretary of state and national security adviser. Biden’s aides have resisted contacts with foreign diplomats after controversy about Trump team contacts with Russia before the last election.
Johnson’s team expect a bumpy ride if Biden wins. The presidential hopeful tweeted last month that he “can’t allow” any UK-US trade deal to proceed if Northern Ireland is “a casualty of Brexit”.
Diplomats say Biden will be cool towards Johnson because of his comments about Barack Obama during the 2016 Brexit referendum, in which he criticised “the part-Kenyan president’s ancestral dislike of the British Empire”.
One said: “They remember that. Democrats also regard Trump as appalling and disgusting and there will be a penalty for people who sucked up to Trump. Angela Merkel didn’t. Macron did and then got tough. The Democrats don’t much like Brexit.”
British diplomats in America have sent telegrams predicting that Biden will probably prioritise a trans-Pacific trade deal, or even a deal with the EU, over a bilateral deal with Britain.
On the other hand, the UK has helped keep alive the Iran nuclear deal, which Biden helped to write, in the hope that it can be revived after Trump, and officials also hope Biden will be more pro-Nato.
Problems also lie ahead if Trump stages a comeback. Woody Johnson, the US ambassador in London, has said America will slap tariffs on Scottish salmon if the UK does not accept US “chlorinated” chicken as part of a trade deal.
Lord Darroch, the former British ambassador in Washington, said in his recent memoir that Johnson was “fascinated” by Trump and saw him as “a kindred spirit”. It is understood the prime minister is personally relaxed about a Trump win since “there is an existing relationship”.
But many of Johnson’s most senior aides believe comparisons between the two damage Johnson. Dominic Cummings has told ministers to publicly keep their distance from the Trump administration.