Prime Minister Theresa May will use her visit to see US President Donald Trump to build on the “special relationship” between the two countries, but won’t be afraid to speak out on anything “unacceptable”.
On Friday, May will be the first foreign leader to visit to the White House and meet the new US president since his inauguration, with issues and trade and security at the top of the agenda.
“When I sit down with Donald Trump, I’m going to be able to talk about how we can build on that special relationship. He’s already said to me he wants to a see a very strong relationship between the UK and the US going into the future,” May told the BBC’s Andrew Marr show.
It’s the special relationship that enables us to say when we do find things unacceptable.
City bodies welcomed the news that May was at the front of the queue to meet the new US commander-in-chief.
"It is an interesting and fresh dynamic,” said Anthony Belchambers, chairman of the Honorary Advisory Council of the Financial Services Negotiation Forum. “It is a signal from the Trump administration that they are willing to think of something that's broader than trade and goods"
Meanwhile, the head of Europe and trade policy at the Institute of Directors Allie Renison said: "Any movement on facilitating deeper trade ties and cooperation between the US and the UK in financial services would be hugely welcome.”
Agreeing a bilateral trade deal between the UK and the US will not be possible until Britain has formally left the EU. And Renison added a word of warning to the Prime Minister.
The UK should tread carefully so as not to do anything which would undermine its Brexit negotiations in this area with the EU.
Millions of people took to the streets across the world over the weekend in protest of Trump’s election. Nevertheless, May said she was ready to stand her ground.
“The biggest statement that will be made about the role of women is that I am will be there as a female Prime Minister.”