With uncertainty surrounding Britain’s scheduled departure from the EU next week, the son of the US president has entered the fray: claiming that “elites” are conspiring to stop Brexit.
Writing for the Telegraph, Donald Trump Jr takes a page from the hard Brexiteer playbook and blames politicians in London and Brussels for attempting to subvert “the will of the people”.
The intervention from the president’s eldest son comes as even Theresa May admits Brexit is in “crisis” mode.
The UK Prime Minister is poised to write to EU chiefs either today or Wednesday to ask for a delay to leaving beyond March 29 as parliament has yet to sanction her withdrawal agreement with Brussels.
But while a majority of MPs have voted against a so-called no-deal Brexit, a fringe of May’s Conservative Party are relaxed about the prospect: a position Trump Jr has also adopted.
“With the deadline fast approaching, it appears that democracy in the UK is all but dead,” he writes, echoing the sentiment of the European Research Group, the collection of Conservative MPs that has been a significant roadblock to May’s deal.
After a promise on “more than 50 separate occasions that Britain would leave the EU on March 29, 2019”, May “needs to honour that promise,” he argues.
Under the headline ‘Theresa May should have taken my father’s advice on Brexit’, the 41-year-old indicates the process would have taken “a few short months” if Trump Sr was negotiating the deal.
Striking in the piece is the five references to “elites” from the executive vice president of his father’s multi-million dollar business empire: “the elites” that control London from Brussels, that the “elites will not surrender their power lightly”, and more.
And there’s a read across to US politics, he claims, saying that Brexit and his father’s electoral success are “one and the same”.
He goes on to warn of the “Democrats and deep-state operatives in our justice system” who have “been colluding to subvert the will of the American people” and remove his father from the Oval Office.
In posts, Trump Jr regularly references the ‘deep-state’ - government employees and agencies determined to destroy the Trump presidency - which has helped fan already established online conspiracy theories.
The piece garnered the support of Nigel Farage, the ex-UKIP and proponent of Brexit who has been seen in the US as at the vanguard of anti-EU movement.
Last week, President Trump said he did not think a second Brexit referendum would be possible as it would be “unfair”.
The US president said he was surprised how badly the UK’s negotiations with the EU had gone, and that May did not listen to his advice on how to conduct the talks.
“It’s a very complex thing right now, it’s tearing a country apart, it’s actually tearing a lot of countries apart and it’s a shame it has to be that way but I think we will stay right in our lane,” Trump said.