A DIPLOMATIC CRISIS?
Sir Kim Darroch, one of the United Kingdoms most cherished and well-respected civil servants has now been rather unceremoniously ousted from his vital diplomatic position as UK Ambassador to the United States.
Sir Kim made the announcement on the 10thof July that he will no longer be serving within the capacity of his post as Ambassador. Due to the spiralling fallout and Twitter turmoil that followed the shocking leaks circulated to the press. A number of emails have been leaked to the Mail on Sunday. With Darroch expressing his lack of faith in the Trump administration, scolding the US Government as ‘Clumsy and Inept’.
You may well be reading this with the belief that this rather unfortunate episode is further clarity of the pompous like persona of Trump and his team. Why should a foreign President have so much leverage and power to effectively veto who the UK selects as Ambassador?
However, I would like to express why this resignation is absolutely vital. Our unshakeable ties with the United States must and will be preserved within the impending context of a post-Brexit UK. While also ensuring a robust response is cemented to bring those responsible for the leak to justice.
AN AMBASSADOR ON ICE
For a time, the relationship between the Trump administration and the UK diplomatic team led by Darroch appeared strong. Just one-month earlier, President Trump toured the immaculate and well-rehearsed pomp and ceremony of the UK State visit. Emphasising a re-energised vigour and declaration to preserve and strengthen our long-standing diplomatic relationship. Trump even expressed some heart felt words to our now outgoing PM Theresa May for her role during the Brexit negotiations.
Just weeks later, after a gruelling email leak to the press of Darroch’s previous sentiments of unease regarding the Trump administration, Sir Kim was left locked out of any further ability to perform his duties. A twitter storm curtesy of President Trump attacked the Ambassador as ‘a very stupid guy’. This was followed by the Ambassador being dis-invited to a banquet and an event with International Trade Secretary, Sir Liam Fox.
To put it simply, communication has completely broken down. For any foreign diplomat communication is the lifeblood of the role. Furthering our international interests and to strengthen our partnership with our international friends and allies. This is why I am completely of the mind that Sir Kim Darroch has made the very noble and correct decision to resign from his post. The special relationship ultimately must come first, and if the President refuses to do business with our Ambassador then clearly Darroch’s position was untenable.
This is of no negative reflection on Darroch who has served our country with an immense amount of loyalty and respect. However, someone had to take the fall for the malicious intent of the leaks which seek only to damage this vital partnership. Kim Darroch has made the final sacrifice to relinquish the role, not for any personal and petty spat on Twitter but for the good of the country he serves.
THE HUNT V JOHNSON APPROACH
While it may seem appropriate to drag Darroch into the current turbulent political theatre. We must not forget our duty for the good of the UK and our interests abroad which are fully symbolised by our special relationship.
I completely understand and sympathise with many senior ministers within the government, including Conservative leadership candidate and Foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt and the defence he and many others have declared for Darroch. However, we must remember beyond the exchange of political point scoring and declarations of soft power the alliance between our two great nations must prevail beyond the dramatic tribulations of the day.
The other leadership candidate (and likely next prime minister) Mr Johnson has of course come under fire for appearing to not fully side with Sir Darroch during the crisis. Surely this is a reflection of Boris not showing courage and leadership during this episode?
I would personally like to express that Boris has handled the situation in a completely professional manner and has shown himself to be far more statesmanlike than ever before. This all comes down to leadership, and when I say leadership I mean truly articulating and understanding the United Kingdom’s interests globally. Subsequently, making decisions that strengthen that vital relationship between our two great nations moving forward.
Ultimately Boris understands that the game is up, we cannot fool ourselves and cloud our judgement any further by falsely declaring Darroch must stay. This Ambassador has shown an incredible amount of understanding and has paid the ultimate price to preserve communication and diplomatic ties between the UK and the US. While Mr Johnson of course backs our civil servants fully he also has the judgement and vision to understand the vital necessity to rectify the crisis.
THE FUTURE RELATIONSHIP
In this circumstance our Ambassador to the United States must be changed for the good of the country’s diplomatic ties in preparation for a post-Brexit United Kingdom. Whereby, our allies across the world (most notably the anglo-sphere) will undoubtedly become more vital to us than ever before.
I do not doubt for a second that Sir Kim Darroch will continue to serve our country within another equally vital role. We must continue and strive to move forward together with an unflinching confidence of our own ability to succeed on a global scale. With the support of our exceptional foreign diplomats at every stage.