May to meet Trump with eye on Brexit future

Alice RITCHIE – January 25, 2017

London (AFP) – Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May will this week be the first foreign leader to meet Donald Trump since his inauguration, aiming to discuss a key post-Brexit trade deal with the US.

The visit has been presented as a diplomatic coup in Britain, where the idea of the “special relationship” still holds strong, and is being closely watched in Washington as Trump’s foreign policy takes shape.

Trump has offered rare support for Brexit among global leaders, seeing parallels with his own election campaign, and saying Britain was “smart” to vote to leave an EU that he believes is now falling apart.

He has also pledged to move quickly on agreeing a trade deal with London — welcome words for May, who last week conceded publicly for the first time that Britain would be leaving Europe’s single market.

“I’m pleased that I’m able to meet President Trump so early in his administration. That is a sign of the strength of the special relationship,” May told parliament on Wednesday.