Regardless of which party is in government, the UK has been able to call on highly professional diplomats for top advice.
Often that advice needs to be confidential because of the sensitivities and personalities involved in international relations. The last place one expects to read that advice is in the newspapers.
That is what happened this week when diplomatic telegraphs from the UK ambassador to Washington Sir Kim Darroch were leaked.
Most people would find it difficult to disagree with his assessment of the Trump administration: “As seen from here, we really don’t believe that this administration is going to become substantially more normal; less dysfunctional, less unpredictable, less faction-riven. Less diplomatically clumsy and inept.”
He went on to say that: “For a man who has risen to the highest office on the planet, President Trump radiates insecurity.”
Given how unpleasing this will be for the thin-skinned US President to hear, it is hard to conclude anything other than the leak was aimed at undermining the position of the ambassador. Whitehall insiders are speculating that the motive is to see him replaced with a Brexiteer, even potentially by Nigel Farage himself.
Having recently learned that Boris Johnson couldn’t be trusted by his own colleagues with national security information, we now see how the malign Brexit influence is undermining foreign relations. Both developments are reasons why Scotland should to be in charge of relations with Europe and the rest of the world.