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From the editor: Should UK politicians take a leaf out of Trump's book?

Will Michael Gove be sore that his leadership bid did not get the endorsement of Donald Trump during the President’s state visit to the UK this week?

Or will he be more miffed that Mr Trump claimed not to know who he was, before going on to back his Conservative rivals, Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt?

 

Whatever the fallout from the President’s thoughts on the Conservative leadership battle, Mr Trump’s time in the UK was again enlightening with regards to how he leads his country and his swaggering approach to diplomacy and trade.

 

It is an approach which chimes with his conservative base of rural voters back in the US, many of whom support his hardline stance on China despite the impact it is having on export markets for goods such as soya.

 

His multi-billion-dollar aid package for beleaguered farmers helps soften the blow as he ramps up the sanctions against the likes of China and Mexico, even if his actions undermine the trade dynamic.

 

And no doubt his views on Brexit will resonate with many farmers over here, especially his belief that the UK should not pay the EU exit bill until its negotiating stance has been met by those in Brussels. His machismo and bravado is in stark contrast to the leadership vacuum the UK is currently experiencing on the political scene, for good and bad.


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No US President has split opinion quite like Mr Trump, but our alliance with America will continue to be crucial as we cut our ties with the EU.

 

And while UK farm bodies were right to voice their concerns that UK production standards needed safeguarding in the event of future trade deals, many farmers will also now be looking to see what we, as a country, can gain from the likes of the US longer term.

 

Combative and often contradictory, Mr Trump is a statesman like no other. But, love him or loathe him, he will be a crucial and defining figure in the transformation of British farming over the next decade, whoever ends up being our next leader.

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