Trump has torn up diplo­matic rule­book

The Scotsman - - News Digest - By Nigel Mor­ris

Don­ald Trump has taken the diplo­matic rule book and torn it apart page by page. Over the last 18 months Pres­i­dents, Prime Min­is­ters and their ad­vis­ers have be­come used to his shoot-from-the­lip style that dis­re­garded the con­ven­tional niceties usu­ally fol­lowed when lead­ers meet.

“He is the one man wreck­ing ma­chine” For­mer US diplo­mat An­thony Gard­ner An­gela Merkel, Em­manuel Macron and Justin Trudeau are among those states­man who have tried – and failed – to re­late to the man who ap­pears to re­gard in­ter­na­tional diplo­macy as a global ver­sion of ne­go­ti­at­ing real es­tate deals.

But Trump’s lat­est in­ter­ven­tion is on a whole new level. Nor­mally vis­it­ing lead­ers side­step ques­tions about the in­ter­nal pol­i­tics of other coun­tries. That is not Trump’s ap­proach as he re­gards no sub­ject, how­ever sen­si­tive and in what­ever part of the world, as off lim­its.

But what is ex­tra­or­di­nary about his in­ter­view in the Sun is that he not only in­ter­vened in the Brexit de­bate, but came down un­am­bigu­ously against the stance be­ing pur­sued by the woman rolling out the red car­pet for him. It also came within hours of her pub­lish­ing the con­tro­ver­sial White Pa­per which she hopes will pro­vide a ba­sis for talks with Brus­sels.

And he de­liv­ered a wound­ing per­sonal jibe at her per­sonal ne­go­ti­at­ing style. But Trump will be un­fazed by the furore and looks set to pur­sue the same un­scripted path re­gard­less of the diplo­matic dam­age.

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