Former U.S. Ambassador: ‘Brexit Is a Dagger Pointed at the Heart of the EU’, Predicts Quick U.S.-UK Trade Deal

John Bolton, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations (UN), speaks during the American Conservative Unions Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) meeting in National Harbor, Maryland, U.S., on Thursday, March 3, 2016. CPAC runs until March 5 with the five remaining 2016 Republican presidential candidates speaking. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via …
Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Speaking to LBC host Nigel Farage, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton described Brexit as a “dagger pointed at the heart of the European Union project”, and predicted a UK-U.S. trade deal “wouldn’t take long”.

Calling the historic day of the referendum “a declaration of independence”, the former ambassador said “the faster you exit [the EU] the better”.

Mr. Bolton told the Brexit campaigner and former UKIP leader he believes that the idea a long transition is going to make leaving the bloc easier is “well-intentioned, but misguided”.

“I understand the argument from people who think it’ll make it more painful to get out, but those are the arguments of people who didn’t want to get out in the first place,” he said.

Mr. Bolton said he believed that a swift exit from the bloc would put Britain in a stronger position to establish herself and strengthen her economy outside of the EU, adding that it would provide businesses with certainty.

Suggesting a “divide and conquer approach” to Brexit, he said: “I think you’ve got to go with the business leaders, pit them against the theologians of the European Union, and I think that way you can get the European Union negotiation position to be much more reasonable.”

Bolton told Farage he did not think a bilateral trade deal between the U.S. and the UK would take long, saying: “This would be an opportunity for the Trump administration to put in place the kind of international trade regime that it seeks.

“I think a bilateral U.S.-UK trade agreement would be a magnet for other countries. I think Canada could envisage joining it very quickly. And I think if you’re going through the travails of negotiating with the European Union and Brussels, we could put together the bilateral relationship and put it in a treaty and be ready even before Brexit is finalised.”

In July, President Donald Trump hailed the potential “big and quick” trade deal with the UK as a British trade delegation headed by Secretary of State for International Trade Dr. Liam Fox led a visit to Washington, D.C.

Bolton’s comments come following David Davis’s acrimonious press conference with the bloc’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier. Mr. Davis later said at a presser in the United States that he felt “more at home” in Washington.

Asked if he thought the EU was playing fairly with the UK, Mr. Bolton said: “Of course not. This British exit is a dagger pointed at the heart of the European Union project, and they’re going to try and make Britain pay … because they fear a successful Brexit will encourage others to do the same.”

Penning a column for Breitbart London, Ted Malloch, the U.S. scholar and diplomat, wrote that “the legal break between the European Union and the UK [must be] as swift, clean, definitive, and certain as possible. There should be no halfway house, transition period, or rule from European courts in these British Isles.”

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