Is it time to end our special relationship?

The most dramatic US election in living memory is over and the result is in: Donald Trump is the new president of the United States of America.

As Trump himself has said throughout the campaign, the polls cannot always be trusted and they have consistently placed Hillary Clinton ahead of her rival, albeit by a small margin.

But as we know from the EU Referendum here in the UK, public opinion is not always accurately represented and every once in awhile a shock result occurs. The immediate aftermath of Trump’s election is sure to be chaos, not just in the US but across the globe, as the world adjusts to this new divisive and incredibly powerful leader. 

Thanks to our special relationship with the US, we must take the result incredibly seriously in the UK and decide whether we really want to be so closely associated with our friends across the pond moving forward.

Trump’s official swearing in takes place on Inauguration Day in January and there is still a small chance that the nominated electors in the US could overturn the decision, although this would be the first time in history that such a move has taken place. If not, we must hope that Congress is able to water down some of the outrageous ideas that won Trump the vote in the first place. 

It is incredibly hard to comment on what might happen next as we were given so little information about actual policies that Trump plans on implementing. We know he is keen on building a wall between the US and Mexico and that he will enforce strict rules around immigration, but how he will actually implement these schemes is anybody’s guess.

Personally, I am shocked by the decision and the thought of Trump being in power is incredibly frightening. I am taking some comfort in the hope that the Republican party, likely to be astounded in his victory, will be forced to back Trump and come to his aid, helping to create policies that are deliverable and less absurd than those which won him the vote.

UK business leaders will most likely join me in their concern for the future relationship between the UK and US, especially those involved in trade deals between the two nations. Employees will require reassurance at a time when the economy here and overseas is expected to falter, and business owners should make contingency plans in the event of another crash.

But the overriding concern from everyone around the world, not least Americans, will be fears over national security rather than the economy. Trump has spoken out against Nato during his campaign and has already shown an interest in getting close with Vladimir Putin, which will be of huge concern to Europe.

Yet, as we know, the UK’s exit from Europe is imminent, leaving us somewhat isolated. The election result now makes it more essential than ever for the British government to pull together regarding Brexit. I am counting down the days until the Autumn Statement on 23rd November, when I - along with my fellow business leaders - desperately await reassurance on the future of our economy and position in Europe and the world.

What exactly are the plans for Brexit and the role that we will play in the EU once Article 50 is triggered? Will interest rates remain at rock bottom and potential drop even further? If so, how should our businesses take advantage of the benefits this brings, and what reassurance can the government give to savers who rely on interest gained from their hard-earned cash?

These and so many other questions remain, and can only be answered by Theresa May and her government, who must now step up to the plate and take charge of our future, not just for the benefit of the UK, but for the global economy.

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