David Wade, a member of FTI Consulting’s Strategic Communications Advisory Group for North America and former Chief of Staff to the State Department, provides a view from the United States on the Brexit decision in this snapshot.
He discusses what American policy-makers make of Brexit and why this is so important for the U.S, as demonstrated by the additional frequent flyer miles racked up by Secretary Kerry engaged in heightened shuttle diplomacy in the wake of the vote. Wade sets out what the most important interests are for the U.S. These interests, all interrelated, range from the avoidance of disintegration of the U.K. and further dismemberment of the EU, to preserving the UK’s political standing and the EU’s unity on critical non-EU issues such as Ukraine and Iran, while avoiding economic contagion.
He concludes by looking at what can be expected from the U.S. going forward. Personal diplomacy from Secretary Kerry and Secretary Lew will continue and the U.S. will act in some ways as a behind the scenes mediator between the UK and the EU, but does not want to appear to be interfering or meddling in an internal EU process. The U.S. Administration will want to keep TTIP on life support for the next Administration and will avoid any real public discussion of a U.S. – U.K bilateral trade deal as the timing is not right. The U.S. will assess and repair cracks in the global architecture caused by Brexit and the recent series of terrorist attacks in the EU as well as want to reassure its NATO allies.
In sum, Wade expects the United States to remain especially diplomatically active trying to help its closest and most critical friends in the E.U. and the U.K. achieve as amicable a divorce as possible – and hoping that with the passage of time the final arrangements will resemble – as closely as possible – the status quo ante.
David E. Wade is a member of FTI’s Strategic Communications Advisory Group for North America and a former long-time Chief of Staff to the United States Department of State.