Book Review: Kim Darroch ~ Collateral Damage: Britain America and Europe in the age of Trump (2020)

Darroch was Britain’s ambassador in Washington, 2016-19. He famously resigned after a confidential briefing note from him to the Foreign Office was leaked and the leading candidate for the leadership of the Conservative party, Boris Johnson, didn’t support him. His briefing note was entirely accurate but as a public document untenable. Darroch was a victim of Foreign Office ‘office’ politics as well as Trump’s vindictiveness.

As can be expected from a man who’s been senior civil servant for decades he has wonderful insights into people and politics. And he writes beautifully. So here we have a perfect combination of someone who was in the heart of decision making with the intelligence to sift out the background noise from the substantive.

Darroch’s book is of-the-moment having been finished in August 2020. So a comment he passes on Brexit is interesting as he’s the ultimate insider.

His [Boris Johnson] lead negotiator, David Frost, used to work with me in the Foreign Office on EU issues. He has a brilliant mind. But it looks as if he also has an impossible negotiating mandate, essentially around a comprehensive free trade deal with the EU without obligations attached to membership of the single market.” p313

His comments on the lead members of Trumps inner circle is fascinating. Warmly recommended

Tag Boris Johnson, Donald Trump, Foreign Office politics, Foreign Office treachery,

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