23:24 GMT +316 July 2019
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    'UK Should Not Be Overly Concerned About Its Relationship With America' - UKIP Scotland Leader

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    Prime ministerial candidate Boris Johnson has found himself at the centre of intense scrutiny once again, this time regarding the diplomatic tensions between the US and the UK, following the leaked emails that revealed the British ambassador to Washington’s disdain for US President Donald Trump and his administration.

    But will this saga affect his chances of winning the Conservative Party leadership race?

    UKIP Scotland leader Donald MacKay considers Johnson's comments on UK-US diplomatic tensions a storm in a teacup, as the former foreign secretary is not prime minister yet, and it is not certain that he will be.

    Sputnik: What do you make of Boris Johnson’s stance towards the diplomatic spat between the American President Trump and the British ambassador to Washington Sir Kim Darroch?

    Donald MacKay: I don’t think that he should be predicting who he will or will not employ when he potentially becomes prime minister, which he may not become. I don’t think he should be saying that at all; it might be different if he had already been the prime minister, but he’s not and I think it’s a storm in a teacup.

    I don’t think we should be overly concerned about our relationship with America, at the end of the day; I think individuals will invariably have a spat with one another, but the essential relationship of trust is still there, and it transcends individuals.

    I personally wouldn’t be too worried about it. People come and go in all positions, and I think it’s grossly overestimated that somehow the Americans are our friends. I’m not so sure that they are; they are a foreign country that does what is in their interest to do, but there’s no need to fall out with people if our broad objectives are similar, and I would say that that is certainly true in that case.

    Sputnik: Is a general election in the coming months inevitable?

    Donald MacKay: I think a general election is pretty well inevitable. As to who wins it or not, it’s more difficult to predict, because Labour have gone down the road of the Liberals on this issue, so they might be chasing the same vote.

    If Boris wins the Conservative Party leadership race, I would have thought that that would pretty much diminish the Brexit Party, so you might end up with a hung parliament with some substantial representation from some of the smaller parties, more than they normally would have. But I think a general election is inevitable, and I don’t see how that can be avoided, and they are just skirting around the issue, so I could see a general election before the 31st of October.

    Sputnik: Would Boris Johnson be able to deliver Brexit if he became British prime minister?

    Donald MacKay: I suspect that the parliamentary arithmetic is against him, and he hasn’t really explained how he’s going to get around that. I also suspect that there is a kind of elaborate game being played; if I was putting my life savings on it, I think that on the 1st of November we will still be in the EU.

    I don’t think he’ll achieve it, and I don’t think deep down he thinks he’ll achieve it, but it’s a good selling point to try and win the leadership election.

    Views and opinions expressed in the article are those of Donald MacKay and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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