The victory of Donald Trump has sent shockwaves across the world, and a host of protests have already taken place in the UK despite the significant geographical distance between the two countries. Unsurprisingly, there has already been a great deal of speculation about what the divisive former Apprentice star and billionaire’s impact on the UK might be. Let’s take a look at some of the key points being debated.
Some economists have speculated that the Bank of England could switch its “neutral” position in interest rates to a “loosening bias” before making a small cut in interest rates as a result of the shockwaves being sent through the global economy. Brexit has already impacted the pound, which has recovered but has failed to recover its pre-June strength. Concerns about the future relationship between the UK and US as well as Europe and other markets have been linked to this. The pound has actually risen encouragingly whilst the value of the dollar has dropped amid concerns over Trump’s presidency.
A rise in right-wing ‘populism’?
Trump’s victory has offered a significant boost to right-wing ‘populism’ outside the US. There has been a great deal of talk about various countries drifting rightwards over recent months. Marine le Pen has a strong chance of winning the French presidential election, whilst Germany’s anti-immigrant party AfD is expected to gain ground this year, as is Holland’s Freedom party. UKIP, whose former leader Nigel Farage has forged a strong bond with Trump and, like the new President, has always portrayed itself as an anti-establishment force, aim to attract more alienated ex-Labour voters in traditional Northern working-class areas whilst using Trump-esque rhetoric. Plans have even been put in place to recast Jeremy Corbyn as the left-wing answer to Trump.
Trade deal prioritised?
Trump has praised the UK for choosing Brexit and has said that he plans to push ahead with a UK-US trade deal quickly. Nonetheless, he regularly used the slogan “America First” throughout his campaign. Theresa May hasn’t ruled out private US firms taking over NHS services in the aftermath of Trump’s victory, and many are sceptical about whether the president really will place the UK high on his list of priorities. In any case, it is likely that Trump will have a significant impact on UK politics.