Donald Trump has made no secret of his dislike for the European Union. He has praised the UK’s decision to leave the bloc repeatedly, characteristically describing it as a “wonderful thing”.
The man widely tipped to be the new US ambassador to Europe, Ted Malloch, put it this way in an interview with Buzzfeed : “He doesn’t like an organisation that is supranational, that is unelected, where the bureaucrats run amok, and is not frankly a proper democracy.”
But Trump himself, who avowedly relies on his personal experiences to shape his decision-making, offered this insight during an press conference with UK Prime Minister Theresa May:
“I had a very bad experience, I have — I had something when I was in my other world, I have something in another country and getting the approvals from Europe was very, very tough. Getting the approvals from the country was fast, easy and efficient. Getting the approvals from the group — I call them the consortium — was very, very tough.”
It’s possible that Trump was alluding to an attempt to build a sea wall around a golf course he owned in Ireland. Environmentalists opposed the move on the grounds that it threatened coastal dunes and the habitat of the narrow-mouthed whorl snail. Both are protected by EU legislation and Trump’s company ultimately backed down on the ground approval was taking too long..
However, his animosity towards the EU clearly goes much deeper: he has predicted that other countries will follow the UK in dropping their membership; threatened European businesses with import tariffs; and strongly criticised the bloc’s immigration policy .