You know that old adage about trusting a wolf in sheep’s clothing? Well, the same rule applies when that wolf is dressed up as a 19th century cowboy prospector ready to clear out a village of Native American children to make way for a new, air-polluting railway line. Drop your guard for six seconds, and that wolf will chew you up, spit you out and convince you to nuke Iran – which is why we should all be absolutely terrified of John Bolton and his putrid brand of nationalistic snake oil.

Not familiar with John Bolton or his signature moustache? Consider yourself lucky, because he’s probably the most dangerous man on the planet.

Bolton is Donald Trump’s (fourth) national security advisor, which means he basically just buzzes around the president’s face all day and whispers scary ideas directly into Trump’s ear canal. According to America’s fearless commander in chief, “if it was up to John, we’d be in four wars now”.

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Bolton’s been trying to bomb Iran for 20 years, openly jokes about the collapse of the UN headquarters and is currently eyeing up three Latin American countries he’s confident are ripe for regime change. The man isn’t interested in diplomacy or international cooperation. John Bolton is a warhawk in every sense of the word. He’s a hungry jackal who preys on anyone he perceives to be weaker than the United States – which is probably why Donald Trump has sent him over to London this week as a “foreign trade envoy”.

On Monday, America’s scariest Poirot impersonator sat down with Boris Johnson and assured the new Tory administration that Britain had nothing to fear crashing out of the EU without a deal on Halloween. Why? According to Bolton, America’s standing by to save the British economy with a series of sector-by-sector free trade deals. No strings attached.

Nancy Pelosi and her vow to block anything that would compromise peace in Ireland? Don’t worry about it. World Trade Organisation rules and new tariffs? No big deal. The way Bolton tells it, America’s got Britain’s back and is asking for nothing in return. For the love of god, we’d better hope Number 10 doesn’t trust him.

There are a lot of layers to peel back here, so let’s just cast aside the fact that a warhawk security advisor has been sent over here to promise Britain a series of bilateral trade agreements (because that’s totally normal, right?). Even if America did save BoJo’s skin with a free trade deal and Tesco started selling us chlorinated chicken and pink slime for tea, Donald Trump and his minions don’t give anything for nothing.

This is a transactional administration, and the cost of Trump’s alleged kindness will likely mean pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal, declaring war on Huawei and probably docking a warship or two in the South China Sea – but all of this is hypothetical anyway, because John Bolton doesn’t deliver treaties or trade deals. He burns them.

If Washington gossip is to believed, it was John Bolton who pushed George W Bush to pull out of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty of 1972 and the Agreed Framework between the US and North Korea. It was John Bolton who piloted America’s exit from the International Criminal Court. It was Bolton who convinced Donald Trump to pull out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty of 1988. It was John Bolton who egged Trump on and got America out of the Iran nuclear deal. The guy hates deals and he hates globalisation.

But that’s just John Bolton, by the way. Let’s not forget the wider Trump administration has also abandoned the UN Human Rights Council, UNESCO, the Paris Agreement, Trans-Pacific Partnership and more. That’s probably why the president gets on so well with his kooky national security advisor. They aren’t interested in free trade or international cooperation, and they don’t give a damn about Britain. All they like is money, looking tough and pretending they’re the smartest guys in the room.

At the end of the day, John Bolton is nothing but a scary deal-breaker who’s been sent by Trump to prey on a weak partner and drown us in rhetoric and empty promises. Please, Britain: don’t take the bait. This guy is dangerous, and a free trade deal with America is not the Get Out of Jail Free card we all want it to be.

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