LONDON: It was an invitation to seal Theresa May’s bid to revitalize the “special relationship” with the United States, but the promise of a state visit for Donald Trump is turning into another headache for the British leader.
May is determined to strengthen her hand before launching divorce talks with the European Union by bolstering ties with world powers like the United States. Her trip to the United States last month that aides described as successful ended with Trump’s acceptance of a chance to meet Queen Elizabeth.
But any enjoyment of what a source in May’s team praised as a “warm, free-flowing and unscripted conversation”, one that yielded a Trump promise of a trade deal as soon as Britain leaves the EU, was short-lived. On her return home, May came under fire for not immediately condemning Trump’s summary curbs on immigration. Since then over 1.8 million people have signed a petition urging the visit be canceled or downgraded to avoid embarrassing the Queen, though about half of Britons say it should go ahead. On Monday, the speaker of Britain’s lower house of parliament, a member of her ruling Conservative Party, rejected any plans for Trump to address parliament during the visit. Agencies
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