The president encouraged Britain to leave the EU—but now that things are falling apart, he’s abdicating his responsibility to help.
This story was updated on November 16, 2018, at 10:15 a.m.
President Donald Trump commits outrage after outrage that no previous U.S. president has done before. But at the same time, he also omits to do things that every previous president has done or would do.
America’s close friend Great Britain has thrust itself into desperate trouble. In a tight referendum marred by aggressive disinformation and violations of campaign-finance law, the United Kingdom voted in the summer of 2016 to exit the European Union.
That vote triggered a negotiating process that yesterday reached its perverse but inevitable outcome. The U.K. and the EU have committed to negotiate a new trade accord. Pending that treaty—which could take many years—Britain will remain within many EU structures, subject to EU rules but lacking any voice in the making of those rules. Meanwhile, in order to avoid redrawing a hard boundary across the island of Ireland, the Northern Irish part of the United Kingdom will face different rules from the rest of the United Kingdom. In other words, a vote to affirm the sovereignty of the British state has instead dissolved the unity of the British state.