Perhaps one of the most significant events in Donald Trump’s first week as US President was when he met UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, made that more significant because May was the first foreign leader he met while President and the recent history of the USA (Trumps remarkable win) and that of the UK (Brexit and all the implications) made the meeting that more keenly anticipated.
It is strange how things change in a short time. If Clinton had won instead of Trump, it is likely the UK Prime Minister’s visit would not have meant so much. If David Cameron had still been UK Prime Minister, it is likely it would have been a different sort of meeting and with Trump less warmly disposed as ideologically speaking they would have been that much further apart. In a short time Britain has gone from being at the end of the queue when it comes to US – UK trade deals to the head, and that is significant. But a pairing few could have predicted a short time ago makes some reminisce on the Maggie – Ronnie chemistry back in the 1980’s.
It is difficult to work out the significance of the visit from one press conference (even though impressive) and some media reports, but my impression is the meeting went well. I was impressed with the way May conducted herself, saying what needed saying, choosing her moment to speak and doing so with good humour and decorum. Given Brexit and the need to strengthen alliances outside of the EU and to develop trade deals, the meeting was significant. It was notable May did not comment on the Mexican wall but did use the opportunity to plug NATO, I think wisely. I understand May has since commented on Trump’s refugee ban. I hope it will do good.
I look forward to seeing how the Theresa – Donald relation will develop and for the sake of both countries I hope it will develop well. I look forward to Donald coming to UK even though a number of my friends want to stop it. I hope any trade deal will be in the UK interest as much as the US (I am thinking here of the UK and the environment). A healthy US – UK alliance is a good thing and especially so given both leaders have ditched much of the globalist ideology of a Cameron and Obama, which a year ago was standard.