Black and white analysis of the “special relationship” misses the point: it’s just turned grey
On Saturday, The Sun proclaimed that the “special relationship” between Britain and America was dead. This morning, our sofa-loving former man in Washington, Sir Christopher Meyer, took the opposing view in The Mail on Sunday and suggested that it is “as strong as ever”. The truth, we’d argue, is far more complex and probably lies somewhere in the middle.
Yes, Britain has indeed somewhat blotted her copybook with the USA by snubbing Washington “in her hour of need” but, as Roger Cohen argues in The New York Times, “the two countries will continue to matter a great deal to one another”.
What Meyer, however, neglects in his “it’s as simple as that” analysis of the “special relationship” is that Britain, on the eve of a vote on its EU membership, is, as Cohen suggests, a nation “in search of its role in the world”. Britain is now an island “picking cherries nowhere in particular” and just as was the case when John Major failed to be decisive with his wishy washy stance on Europe, everything’s just become rather grey.
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