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US president Donald Trump was in the United Kingdom last week for his much delayed, state visit amidst widespread protests. He had just arrived from a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) summit in Brussels, Belgium. Trump met would British Prime Minister Theresa May but before he could have gotten off the plane he had already stirred up controversy. He had given a press conference before leaving Brussels in which he said “I’m going to a pretty hot spot right now, right? With a lot of resignations,”. This is not what one world leader should say about another especially when they are visiting for improving relations between their two countries.
The British Media and satirists will have a good laugh. May has now officially become a total laughing stock. Trump was also hosted for an official Reception by Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle although it is unclear if he met with any other members of the royal family.
Trump’s trip coincides with a tumultuous week for May after two senior ministers resigned in protests at her plans for trade with the EU after Britain leaves next March. May’s “business-friendly” Brexit proposal was agreed by her cabinet only last Friday after two years of wrangling since Britons voted to leave the bloc in a 2016 referendum, though some supporters of Brexit cast it as a betrayal. “The people voted to break it up, so I imagine that’s what they’ll do. But maybe they’re taking a little bit of a different route, so I don’t know if that’s what they voted for,” said Trump. Asked about Trump’s comments at a hastily-arranged meeting with journalists, May said she was delivering the wishes of the British people. Trump, who has repeatedly praised Brexit, has expressed enthusiasm for a wide- ranging trade deal with Britain after its EU departure in March next year.
Trump of course has proven to be more of a hazard than a boon to May. He has endorsed former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson to be a better prime minister than May. Johnson had resigned his cabinet post due to May’s compromising position on Brexit. But given to the fact that Trump hasn’t been able to arrive in London due the city-wide protests held against him it is unlikely his views will be taken seriously by the British people. Trump is an unpredictable figure and the only other way for May to secure a better offer for Britain is to be cooperative with the European Union. It is unlikely how long Trump himself will last, with Congressional Elections coming up in the US, the Republican party may lose control of one or both houses of Congress.
So, at best May’s greatest fear is only seeing her government collapse parliament dissolved and the Labor party and its leader Jeremy Coburn coming into power. The only way to preserve her career is to go through with “soft Brexit”. Trump of course has never been consistent.
“We are cracking down right now on the European Union because they have not treated the United States fairly on trading,” he told The Sun. “No, if they would do that I would say that that would probably end a major trade relationship with the United States.” While he did praise May in the interview, he also said May had not taken his advice on Brexit, something he said was “fine.” “I would have done it much differently. I actually told Theresa May how to do it but she didn’t agree, she didn’t listen to me,” he said, before saying negotiations had gone on “too long.” (In UK, Trump throws fuel onto Britain’s fiery political debate over Brexit)
The truth is that Trump cares about no one but himself. He is unaware that no one in the circle of world leaders see him as a trustworthy person. They have seen how he treats his closest advisors and how quickly he changes his tune when the odds are against him. May doesn’t have to worry about listening to Trump as he has never done a good job s regards to his own domestic policies. Planning to build a Wall across the Mexican border hasn’t worked out for Trump and there have been many delays in the construction plan. Not least Mexico’s refusal to pay. So, no one believes Trump can do a better job handling Brexit.