It’s an illusion too many British politicians have of a ‘Special Relationship’ with the US which understandably can annoy some in Europe and fuel those tired old Gaullist fantasies but there IS a unique one, centered around nuclear and intelligence cooperation, while there are US manned intelligence facilities in the UK and elsewhere in NATO, there is also a substantial GCHQ presence within their US counterparts, the NSA, or as one source put it, they occupy a whole floor of the NSA HQ.
The former, via the 1958 agreement has made this submarine saga a tri national thing.
Still, like our brexiteer’s fantasies, which events right now connected to them are finally being exposed to a lot of people, the old ‘Yanks are out to do the Francophonie down’ are very similar.
So more from Jonathan Meades, on the whole idea, where it comes from, it’s effects, done again in his own witty, sometimes caustic style;
(You just wait until the end and the grand old man of France, threatened by a pop song)!
First, thank you for introducing me to Jonathan Meades. I can't believe I've missed him to date.
Second, I think just like the French are never really done fighting the French Revolution (which effects everything the French do) British foreign policy will be forever torn between its Continental and Atlanticists poles. Oddly enough, throughout most of British history, the British right were the Continentals. This has obviously changed. Honestly, I think there is a very good argument that the Atlanticist/global pole has stronger economic future, versus that of the EU.
Third, it is at once hard to distinguish the exact nature of the Special Relationship. I do believe it exists, in a multitude of ways, and will likely persist for a long time. Much of it is, like the British Constitution, not nailed down in treaty and agreement, but by a complex and deep collection of relationships that with the possible growing exception of the Australians and to a very limited degree, the Canadians, is not replicated.
Honestly, I am not bullish strategically on the EU for a host of reasons (despite the fact I think it has great utility in certain matters.) One reason I constantly bring up is that Europe at its most effective is a collection of complementary states, rather than a political monocultural that isn't terribly representative.
The UK would always be a junior partner in a Franco-German dominated EU; at best it would be the counterweight that the small nation/eastern European/Nordic majority of the EU could flee for a fair hearing and advocate. I've heard plenty of Nordic/Eastern Euros decry Brexit because they prime advocacy against Brussels is gone.