Shadow foreign minister says relationship with Donald Trump must be conditional on freedom, tolerance and social justice
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Shadow foreign minister Catherine West says the British government must keep a strong relationship with the United States under Donald Trump as long as he upholds the values of freedom and tolerance.
The Hornsey and Wood Green MP described the result as “unimaginable” and said, in the wake of the Brexit vote, it shows how liberal democracies are in crisis.
She said: “The election of Donald Trump was for many an unexpected, unimaginable and shocking result. However, following on from the aftermath of the EU referendum, modern liberal democracies are in crisis. Both the Brexit vote and the election of Trump are bound up with a large scale rejection of the established political class and economic system that has failed too many communities for too long.
“There is an urgent need for a revitalised labour movement that is strong, grounded and progressive. It must re-engage with the issues that people across the US, the UK and indeed the world are concerned about including access to housing, high quality healthcare and an income people can live on.
“I hope that our relationship with the United States does indeed become stronger over the coming years, on the condition that it continues to embody the values of freedom, tolerance and social justice that both our nations have a long history of upholding.”
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Hampstead and Kilburn MP Tulip Siddiq described Trump as a “dreadful demagogue” and called the result ““devastating” and “terrifying”.
Ms Siddiq said: “Having spoken against Trump’s hateful, divisive rhetoric in parliament, I felt particularly invested in the outcome of this year’s US elections. The result was as devastating as it was terrifying. As with countless women around the world, Hillary Clinton faced sexist hurdles that her opponent benefitted from, denying her the opportunity to smash the highest glass ceiling of them all. It is now more important than ever to work together, to challenge hate and protect the most vulnerable in light of this dreadful demagogue’s election.”
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Tory MP Mike Freer, a member of the British American Parliamentary Group, said the British government must work across the whole of US government, including Congress, to keep a check on extremist policies.
The MP for Finchley and Golders Green said: ““Donald Trump may not be to everyone’s taste but he is democratically elected and was elected on a high turnout.
“We have to ensure that we make our relationship work across the whole of the US Government and that includes Congress. The President is not all powerful and executive authority is limited, he will have to work with Congress and they will act as a sensible brake on any extreme policies.
“We have already seen Mr Trump be pragmatic on issues such as healthcare, equal marriage and working with his ‘foes’.
“As a member of the British American Parliamentary Group, I know Congress will want to ensure the divisions created in the election are healed. Democracies have an amazing ability of having fractious elections followed by consensual Government.