In Brief

Why Donald Trump Jr thinks Brexit and his father’s election are linked

President’s eldest son claims Establishment in both US and UK is trying to thwart will of the people

The eldest son of President Trump has accused the “Establishment” in both the US and the UK of trying to silence all those who voted for Brexit or for his father.

In an opinion piece for The Daily Telegraph, Donald Trump Jr writes that Prime Minister Theresa May has “promised on more than 50 separate occasions that Britain would leave the EU on 29 March 2019”.

“She needs to honour that promise,” he continues. “But Mrs May ignored advice from my father, and ultimately, a process that should have taken only a few short months has become a years-long stalemate, leaving the British people in limbo.” 

President Trump expressed a “similar, though less dramatic, sentiment about the withdrawal process last week”, says the US edition of The Week.

“I gave the prime minister my ideas on how to negotiate it,” the US leader told reporters in the Oval Office. “She didn’t listen to that and that’s fine.”

Trump Jr goes a step further, drawing parallels between the reactions to the Brexit vote and to his father’s election triumph, which he claims are “one and the same”.

“Why is this important for us Americans? Because Brexit is an example of how the establishment elites try to subvert the will of the people when they’re given the chance,” the businessman writes in his op-ed.

“When my father beat the Washington establishment in a historic outcome in 2016, just a few months after the Brexit vote, we mistakenly presumed there would be a peaceful and respectful transition of power from the Democrats to the Republicans, just as there has always been in this country.

“Instead, the Democrats and deep-state operatives in our justice system have been colluding to subvert the will of the American people, with high-level officials even discussing a scheme to try to remove him from office using the 25th Amendment of our constitution.”

The intervention by Trump Jr, executive vice-president of The Trump Organization, comes as US National Security Adviser John Bolton accuses UK politicians of failing to “give effect” to the Brexit referendum result.

Bolton told Sky News: “The president has been clear that he wants a resolution of this issue that allows the United States and Britain to come to trade deals again. He sees huge opportunity if Britain’s status can be resolved.”

Echoing the accusations against the British prime minister, Trump Jr writes: “Now, the clock has virtually run out and almost all is lost - exactly as the European elites were hoping.

“Some pro-Brexit politicians even suggest that Mrs May is trying to sabotage Brexit, by insisting that Parliament agree to a deal that essentially keeps Britain bound to the EU indefinitely.

“With the deadline fast approaching, it appears that democracy in the UK is all but dead.”

The op-ed has been criticised by many commentators. The Guardian’s Peter Walker tweets that the article is “*full* of the sort of tropes/code words beloved of conspiracy theorists and the far right”.

Labour MP David Lammy tweeted: “Donald Trump Jr. telling Britain our democracy is dead. Is it a joke? The same Trump Jr. who met a ‘Kremlin-linked lawyer’ at Trump Tower in June 2016 after he was promised dirt on Hillary Clinton.”

Meanwhile, The Guardian reports that President Trump has previously said May’s Brexit withdrawal agreement “sounds like a great deal for the EU” but could prevent the UK from pursuing closer trade ties with the US. The president “has sought to tear up many of the US’s existing trade agreements and seek terms he sees as more favourable to Washington”, the newspaper notes.

Earlier this month, the Telegraph reported Trump had met with former UKIP leader Nigel Farage, who subsequently hinted that the US president was supportive of the UK leaving the EU without a deal in place.

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