Wednesday, 19 September, 2018

Will Donald Trump meet Boris Johnson? 'Not sure,' says U.S. ambassador

This is so much bigger than Boris | British politics | For Europe, Against the EU Who's to blame for Theresa May's meltdown – and where will it end?
Jan Cook | 14 July, 2018, 11:33

Britain on Wednesday geared up for the arrival of Donald Trump just hours after the US president waded into the Brexit crisis gripping Prime Minister Theresa May's government and portrayed the closest USA ally in Europe as a country in turmoil.

A U.S. Dollar note is seen in this June 22, 2017 illustration photo.

Trump lands in Britain on Thursday following a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation meeting in Brussels where he chided Germany and other European nations for failing to contribute enough to defense spending.

At a press conference later in the grounds of the PM's country residence, Mr Trump insisted he "didn't criticise" the Prime Minister and hit out at "fake news".

Asked if May should stay in power, Trump said "that's up to the people".

As May attempts to unify her party behind her proposals, commentators said Trump meeting Johnson would suggest backing for his view that May's plans would inhibit Britain's ability to forge new free trade deals.

"I can't read that but if Brexiteers see why Trump has said as validating their own position then the pressure, over the course of this weekend, from constituents onto Conservative members of Parliament will get even greater".

Donald Trump refers to Ireland as a part of the UK
For some Leavers, it's nuts to claim we can make the most of the world outside if we are still sticking to European Union rules. But Brexit champion Nigel Farage predicted there would be a "real clash" on Brexit. "I think they like me a lot in the UK".

Ahead of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Brussels, the president told reporters: "He has been very, very nice to me, very supportive".

The US president told Mrs May "whatever you do is OK with me" on Brexit, but urged her to "make sure we can trade together".

The pound gave up recent gains during Asian trading after Davis's unexpected resignation as Brexit secretary over what he described as a "general direction of policy [that] will leave us in at best a weak negotiating position, and possibly an inescapable one".

Asked about the remarks, Mrs May's official spokesman said: "The Prime Minister is looking forward to showing the President the United Kingdom and is confident that he will leave with a very positive impression".

The enduring image of May's visit to the White House in January 2017, when she became the first foreign leader to meet the president after he took office, was Trump taking May's hand to help her down the steps of the White House colonnade. "So I think that symbolises how he considers the importance of her leadership in this country right now". Anti-Trump protesters are expected to take to the streets of London during his visit to Britain. "That's certainly up to the people, not up to me".

Following their talks, Mr Trump and his wife Melania flew by helicopter for tea with the Queen at Windsor Castle where they were greeted with a guard of honour from 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards.

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