Could a Donald Trump win DESTROY the EU? Security and trade instability may devastate bloc
European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker and Donald Trump
Europe is watching the US election amid fears that Mr Trump could endanger European security and trade arrangements, according to experts.
The Republican has compared his bid to become US President to the Brexit campaign, saying his victory will be “Brexit times five”.
But could his presidency rock Europe just as much as Britain’s decision to leave the EU this summer?
The Republican billionaire is very critical of the EU and even predicted its demise in the wake of the historic Brexit vote.
“I think the EU is going to break up,” he told the Times. “The people are fed up, whether it’s here or in other countries. You watch: other countries will follow.”
Populist anti-EU parties across Europe could seize on Mr Trump victory’s to further their own battles against the political establishment.
Ukip interim leader Nigel Farage has said Trump represents “big change” and joked that he would like a job in his administration.
He told ITV’s The Agenda programme: “If he did offer me a job I would quite like to be his ambassador to the European Union. I think I would do that job very well.”
What will happen to the EU if Donald Trump wins the US election 2016?
As well as politically destabilising the EU, Mr Trump could shake up Europe’s trade arrangements and defence policies.
The Republican candidate’s trade adviser Dan DiMicco has insisted that America should strike a trade deal with Britain ahead of the EU.
“Why shouldn’t we be working with like-minded people before we do a deal with anybody else?” he asked.
The Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is likely to stall indefinitely because Mr Trump plans to overhaul the global free trade system.
Mr DiMicco said: “Things have gotten so bad that we will leave Nafta [the North American Free Trade Agreement], WTO [the World Trade Organization] and the Korean Free Trade Agreement if we can’t get a fair deal.”
Donald Trump could be elected as the next US President
Mr Trump has also sparked alarm across Europe by threatening to pull the United States out of NATO, slamming it as “obsolete” alliance that costs America a “fortune”.
But the presidential candidate has since withdrawn the threat, saying that he is “all for NATO” and would no longer consider walking away from the alliance.
Nevertheless Sophia Besch, a research fellow at the Centre for European Reform, said: “Europe’s security is at stake in these US elections.
“Trump has publicly questioned the solidarity commitment that is at the heart of the NATO alliance, declaring US support conditional on Europeans increasing their own defence budgets.
“His proximity to Putin and transactional approach to defending Europe should be of deep concern to every European state that depends on NATO’s protection.”
Former head of the Royal Navy, Lord West, agreed there could be trouble ahead, telling Express.co.uk: “The US will look very closely at whether European NATO is bearing its fair share of the cost of making sure we are all defended against a resurgent and dangerous Russia.”
He added European states had been “riding on the coattails of America and the UK and they have not been pulling their weight”.
Such instability, especially in the face of a growing Russian aggression, could prove to be a hammer blow for an already disunited EU.
Frans Timmermans, European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker’s right hand man, this week admitted the extent to which Brexit had thrown the bloc into turmoil.
The first vice-president said: “We have fallen into the trap of identity politics. If the driving force of the European construction is national, cultural or ethnic identity, then it will not survive.
“For the first time in 30 years, I really believe that the European project can fail.”
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But CER research fellow, Agata Gostyńska-Jakubowska, has warned an elected Mr Trump will not be able to help Britain secure a better Brexit deal.
“Some Britons have hoped that America’s next president will help the UK twist some arms in Brussels and make the EU bow to the UK’s demands in exit negotiations.
“But this is wishful thinking,” she said. “Trump, who praised the outcome of the June referendum, might be willing to throw weight behind the UK.
“But his divisive and xenophobic remarks have not gone down well in Europe and his intervention on Britain’s behalf would do more harm than good to Theresa May’s negotiating strategy.”