DONALD Trump arrives today. He is showbusiness and he’s already warming up the British crowd – Boris for Prime Minister, tell Angela Merkel to go take a running jump, forget the £39billion.
And unless you’re a London-dwelling liberal or pinko, Donald’s team know this wisdom will touch the elusive sweet spot. So if they wanted to make their man an honorary Brit they should have added a little tourism – how about Peterborough? Large immigrant population, lots from India, everyone gets along fine. Wonderful church, in fact quite beautiful with the really quite modest tomb of England’s last Catholic Queen who was much loved locally.
How about Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Shropshire? They’re the other garden of England. All my American friends love those parts where the land is green and the people tell you what they think.
The Swiss are promoting Hadrian’s Wall and the magnificent rolling landscape of Northumberland. Donald knows Scotland but maybe someone should take him over to Skye and Cape Wrath where he can see the Hebrides like a school of whales showing over the horizon.
The trouble with so many Remainers is that their view of our country is London. The far North begins at St Albans. Try going the other way. Drive south from Cape Wrath and when you reach Stirling you’re in the South, when you reach York it feels as though Cambridge is just down the road. The woods and Lakes of Fermanagh are much nearer than the Seven Sisters.
That’s how we ended up with an economy where around a third of our trade passes through a potential bottleneck between Dover and Calais. All countries have them. Canada has the Saint Lawrence Seaway. The Americans have the Panama Canal. Our allies in Asia have the South China Sea and we all have the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf.
Brexit is the moment to open up all those small ports that have been neglected for years. Make them free ports like Hong Kong. Let P & O run ferries from them to compensate for less traffic through Dover. But, as Donald also said, let’s bring our trade much closer to our real friends across the Atlantic. We don’t have to forget Europe, we just have to be honest with ourselves and admit that joining the Common Market was a massive strategic error.