IF pure good fortune plays a part in international affairs, we in the UK should be thanking our lucky stars this week.
Because at the precise moment when we are looking to the far horizons to find vibrant trade partners to replace the moribund, sclerotic European Union, up pops the new US President Donald Trump.
Not only is he a confirmed Anglophile, whose Scottish mother was a big fan of the Queen, but also Mr Trump is hugely sceptical about the future viability of the euro currency and the EU as a whole.
And in contrast to Barack Obama’s arrogant threat that the UK would be “at the back of the queue” for trade deals if we dared leave the EU, Mr Trump has made it clear we will be first in line when agreements are handed out.
So the auguries couldn’t possibly be better for Prime Minister Theresa May’s meeting with Mr Trump in the White House later today. She has the opportunity to forge a close personal bond with the president and also to reinvigorate the “special relationship” which suffered so badly during Mr Obama’s disastrous term in office.
If you need a flavour of the likely future relationship between the US, the EU and the UK, then just take note of an astonishingly frank interview with the BBC given this week by Professor Ted Malloch, a respected economist who is widely tipped to be Trump’s choice for the US ambassadorship to the EU.
Professor Malloch said the proposed trade deal between the EU and the US was “literally dead” and the prospects of any future deals were remote because he wasn’t convinced the EU would be around for much longer to negotiate with.
He said the one thing he would do in 2017 was “short the euro” – a trading term that basically means he thinks the euro is doomed.
Remember, this is most likely America’s main man in Brussels speaking. His words no doubt had unelected EU officials choking on their expense account lunches.
In contrast Professor Malloch was hugely optimistic about US-UK relations saying that if Britain committed to a clean and quick Brexit, in order to bypass the dead hand of Brussels bureaucracy, a trade deal could be concluded with the US in as little as 90 days.
This is immensely cheering news for anyone who wishes Britain well, although of course the Remainiacs are desperately clinging onto the hope that everything will go horribly wrong, just so they could have the satisfaction of saying “I told you so”. They would rather their country ran into economic problems than be proved wrong – not exactly what you would call patriotic.
What is clear is that not just the US but countries around the world are queuing up to do trade deals with a newly independent UK, including Australia, India, Canada and New Zealand.
And remember these are hugely successful and rapidly growing economies unencumbered by the low growth, unsustainable debt and collapsing banks that bedevil our current European ‘partners’.
Anyone who thinks Mr Trump’s “America First” policy endangers co-operation doesn’t understand how international trade works.
Of course Mr Trump will put America first, just as we expect Mrs May to put Britain first.
But the point about trade deals is that they are mutually beneficial – they generate jobs and prosperity in both countries that sign up to them.
That is precisely why free trade has helped lift a billion people out of extreme poverty in just two decades.
And it also why the Euro-fanatics in Brussels who are calling for the UK to be punished for leaving the EU are howling at the moon.
Of course, punitive tariffs on UK-EU trade would damage British businesses – but they would damage EU businesses just as much, if not more.
Just ask the likes of Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen and BMW who at a stroke would lose unfettered access to their largest European export market – the UK.
I suspect when a post-Brexit deal comes to be signed, the sober and powerful business community of Germany will have more influence than the hysterical zealots in the European Commission and Parliament who want Britain punished.
And then an independent UK can have the best of all worlds – friendly relations and mutually beneficial free trade with the US, the EU and many other countries around the globe.