That now infamous tweet by Donald Trump suggesting that the UK appoint Nigel Farage as its ambassador has been quite a surprise. It’s a clear breach of diplomatic protocol and embarrassing for the government, whether it accepts the suggestion or not.
Many people would like to see @Nigel_Farage represent Great Britain as their Ambassador to the United States. He would do a great job!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 22, 2016
The government’s stance
The government swiftly rejected the suggestion, pointing out that “there isn’t a vacancy”. Some ministers have also argued that ambassador Farage might promote his interests rather than those of the UK. The post requires a more serious presence. It requires someone who isn’t the centre of attention, but who can quietly and diligently get on with his work.
The arguments in favour
Nevertheless, the suggestion that Farage be the UK’s ambassador to the US has received support.
The main arguments in favour are as follows:
1) There is a precedent – Britain granted John F Kennedy’s request for David Ormsby-Gore to be an envoy to the US
2) Farage and Trump get along well, and his appointment would therefore serve the national interest.
3) It would neutralise a political adversary
Support from Nixon’s Biographer
Writing in the Daily Mail, Jonathan Aitken, the biographer of former U.S. President Richard Nixon, has argued the case for ambassador Farage:
“Washington D.C. is a city where proximity is power. A loyal street fighter from Trump’s election campaign trail with impeccable Brexit credentials might be just the non-diplomat to influence the incoming U.S. administration — which will, of course, be led by a non-politician.”
“This is a time when out-of-the box thinking is required to put British interests at the front of the queue, particularly in the drive to secure a new U.S.-UK trade deal as we decouple ourselves, however slowly, from the European Union.”
But Farage will need quite a bit more support than this if he’s to gain the position, a possibility which remains unlikely.