LONDON (Reuters) – Britain on Wednesday equipped for the arrival of Donald Trump simply hours after the U.S. president waded into the Brexit disaster gripping Prime Minister Theresa May’s government and portrayed the closest U.S. ally in Europe as a rustic in turmoil.
Trump lands in Britain on Thursday following a NATO assembly in Brussels the place he chided Germany and different European nations for failing to contribute sufficient to defence spending.
His journey coincides with a tumultuous week for the British prime minister after two senior ministers resigned in protest at her plans for commerce with the European Union after Britain leaves subsequent March.
May seems to have seen off an instantaneous problem to her management from malcontents inside her Conservative Party however Trump’s feedback forward of the journey – that Britain was “in somewhat turmoil” and that it was as much as the individuals if she stayed in energy – fanned the sense of political disaster.
Trump additionally mentioned he would possibly converse to former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who give up together with Brexit minister David Davis over May’s plans for a business-friendly Brexit which was solely agreed by her cupboard final Friday after two years of wrangling.
As May makes an attempt to unify her get together behind her proposals, commentators mentioned Trump assembly Johnson would counsel backing for his view that May’s plans would inhibit Britain’s means to forge new free commerce offers.
Securing a U.S.-UK deal post-Brexit is one thing each Trump and May’s government have heralded as being a serious good thing about leaving the EU.
Trump has lengthy voiced his help for Brexit, saying it was a part of a global rebellion that finally thrust him to energy, and he was at his Scottish golf resort the day after Britons voted to depart the EU, saying the end result was a “great thing”.
On Tuesday, the president described Johnson as a “friend” who had been “very nice to me, very supportive”, though when Trump prompt in 2015 London had police no-go zones, Johnson, then the capital’s mayor, quipped he feared going to New York due to “the real risk of meeting Donald Trump”.
When requested straight if Trump would meet Johnson, U.S. Ambassador in London Woody Johnson advised BBC Radio: “I’m not sure. That’s not on the schedule, but the president makes his own schedule. If the president wants to do something, we’ll make it possible.”
The ambassador added May had proven sturdy management and that the journey would improve the particular relationship between the United States and Britain.
“We’re extremely confident in the ability of the UK to plough through this issue with Brexit and move on,” he mentioned.
“She was the first foreign dignitary to visit the U.S. when he became president. So I think that symbolises how he considers the importance of her leadership in this country right now.”
After he was invited final yr, greater than 1.86 million individuals signed a petition saying Trump shouldn’t be given a state go to as a result of it may embarrass the queen and hundreds of police may also be on responsibility with massive protests anticipated.
A excessive metallic fence has been erected across the U.S. ambassador’s central London residence the place Trump will spend Thursday night time and the embassy despatched out an alert warning Americans in London to maintain a low profile in case protests turned violent.
More than 50,000 individuals have signed as much as reveal in London on Friday when protesters intend to fly a big balloon over parliament portraying Trump as an orange, snarling child though a counter-gathering to welcome him can also be deliberate.
“It’s really kind of irrelevant to what we’re trying to do, and it certainly doesn’t express the opinion of the British people that I’ve met,” Ambassador Johnson mentioned of the balloon.
While the protests are happening within the British capital, Trump will meet the queen at Windsor Castle the place he might be welcomed with a guard of honour earlier than having tea with the 92-year-old monarch.
Editing by Guy Faulconbridge