At the time of writing this piece, US Election Night 2020 has just reached the early hours of the morning, with a small number of states left to count, and millions of postal votes left to decide who will be the next President of the United States, Donald Trump or Joe Biden.
It has been one of the most heated, and at times unbelievable, presidential races which the United States have seen, and much rests on the democratic decision which will be made in the next hours, days or weeks. With the number of postal votes which have been cast in the United States this year, it’s hard to know when the next President will officially be named. There is much speculation over who will win, and already it seems that Trump is doing better in the swing states than many of the polls predicted.
We know it’s a tight race, and soon we’ll know the direction which American politics will be steering towards for the next 4 years. With such a huge difference in their policies around protection from COVID-19, immigration and many other key areas, Donald Trump and Joe Biden’s presidencies will paint a very different path for America.
With most countries’, governmental elections are often contained, with little concern from individuals living overseas. The US Election, however, has eyes watching it from all across the world, with many hoping for a Democratic win and a change in control of the Whitehouse. Taking up arguably the most important position in the world, the winner of the US Presidential Election will have a rippling effect on policies and the nature of politics all across the world. It is no wonder then, that many are hopeful for change.
How could the winner of the US Election affect the UK?
As with many other countries, the outcomes of this presidential race will affect the politics and policies here in the UK. Already this year, leaks from the Conservative party have expressed fears that if Donald Trump does not win the Presidential Election, this could greatly affect the United Kingdom’s post-Brexit deal or no-deal scenario.
In fact, since his election, Trump has been very pro-Brexit and has promised the United Kingdom a stronger, “special relationship” with the United States following the countries’ withdrawal from the EU. If Biden is to take on the presidency after this election, it may have affect on the United Kingdom’s trade deals with the US, and may force UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson back to the drawing board when it comes to a post-Brexit plan for the UK. Biden has outwardly spoken about his disapproval of Brexit, expressing specific concerns about how it may affect Ireland and their economy.
Notoriously, President Trump has been very vocal on his inactivity around Climate Change, pulling the United States out of the previous Paris climate accord and refusing US financial support. Next year Britain is hosting a big UN summit, COP26, with the aim of countries across the world coming together to agree on new carbon reduction targets. If Trump remains in the presidency, it is unlikely that the United States will offer much help in this deal. By comparison, Biden has promised to rejoin Paris, and offer further assistance in finding solutions to tackle climate change. With the United States being such a huge force and world leader, their assistance is vital in this matter.
Under Trump’s presidency over the last 4 years, the US have seen their immigration levels slowing, with more individuals being offered temporary visas than permanent ones. Trump has made it so that more individuals have been able to enter the country for temporary work, but has made it more difficult for individuals to seek settlement there. Refugee admissions in the US have also fallen to new lows under Trump’s presidency.
Mr Trump’s hostility to any immigration from Muslim-majority countries is well known – he once pledged to enact a “complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States” – and a reduction in refugee quotas proved easier to implement than an outright ban, which became mired in legal challenges.
As a result, the number of refugees admitted from a number of majority-Muslim countries, including Iraq, Somalia, Iran and Syria, fell almost to zero soon after he took office.
Trump’s presidency has certainly created a fear and resistance to immigration within the US, and this is an issue which could continue to grow and trickle to other countries if the White House does not see a change. Holding one of the most important seats in the world, the president of the United States should be someone who champions migration and freedom of movement, whilst offering support to asylum seekers and those in need. Only then will a more the nation, and world, become a more tolerant place.
Trump or Biden?