Could Donald Trump’s lone ranger approach provide the silver bullet? | Larry Elliott

The president’s rejection of multilateralism is risky but our 70-year-old rule-based system is far from perfect

Donald Trump is playing with fire. That thought permeated last week’s spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in Washington.

The US president’s go-it-alone approach – especially in the field of trade – has certainly shaken things up. It is not just the threat of tariffs, nor that the US has brought the dispute settlement system at the World Trade Organisation to a standstill.

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Japan ambassador’s Brexit warning: there won’t be a deal better than the single market

Koji Tsuruoka expected a quiet posting in a stable country. Then Brexit happened. He tells the Observer of his fears and hopes for manufacturing, trade and investment

Koji Tsuruoka is sipping green tea in Japan’s splendid embassy in Mayfair, recalling how his first two years as Japan’s ambassador to the UK have not gone quite according to plan. At least, they haven’t turned out how his predecessors assured him they would. One after another, ex-ambassadors advised him, before he took up the position on 6 June 2016, that he would find the UK very “stable”, and its politics “very predictable”.

The attractions of London’s ballet scene, opera and art galleries quickly lured him into thinking it would be “an excellent place to conclude my 40-plus years of diplomatic service in a very comfortable and quiet environment”. British politicians and civil servants he met early on were almost all sure the EU referendum would pass peacefully by. “Almost 99% said that you don’t have to worry because the British people don’t make adventurous decisions. They said it was irrational to leave because of the economic conditions… And you know what happened.”

Related: Brexit could cut manufacturing exports by a third, experts warn

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Shakespeare’s sceptr’d isle has always been a part of Europe | William Keegan

The inspiration the bard drew from the continent emphasises, whatever Brexiters might say, the inseparability of our history

We know that the Brexiters want to recapture a lost Britain; and few Britons can rival William Shakespeare in the patriotism stakes.

It intrigued me, therefore, to hear the following from a Shakespearean scholar who recently delivered a Bardic talk in – where else? – Stratford-upon-Avon. Stratford-upon-Avon is as near to Middle England as any Brexiter could wish.

There is much talk of ‘globalisation’, but the key economic development of the British economy has been Europeanisation

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