Monday, January 30, 2017

TRUMP WORLD - Britain's Life-Line

"High stakes and friction points for ‘special relationship' between Trump and UK's May" PBS NewsHour 1/27/2017

CAUTION:  Britain, Trump will want his name (in gold) on Parliament. 😉


SUMMARY:  President Donald Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May both came to power during waves of populism and now are trying to steer their respective countries in new directions.  At the White House Friday, the allies met for what was Trump's first foreign visit to discuss Brexit and the prospect of a bilateral trade deal.  Both leaders Margaret Warner reports on what's at stake for both leaders.

JUDY WOODRUFF (NewsHour):  In contrast to the ban on refugees, the White House opened its doors today to the United States' most trusted ally.

As Margaret Warner reports, in the face of uncharted waters, there was an appreciation of a shared history.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP:  It is a great honor to have Winston Churchill back.

MARGARET WARNER (NewsHour):  President Trump had a warm Oval Office welcome for Prime Minister May, as the two posed beside a bust of Britain's greatest wartime leader.

And both are now trying to steer their countries in new directions amid great uncertainty.  May is charting Britain's withdrawal from the European Union after the public voted for Brexit, which triggered her predecessor David Cameron's resignation.  May didn't support leaving the E.U. either, but she's now pledged to see it through, insisting it will be a clean break.

THERESA MAY, British Prime Minister:  Brexit means Brexit, and we're going to make a success of it.

MARGARET WARNER:  Last April in London, then-President Obama warned a vote to leave the E.U. would jeopardize a future U.S.-U.K. trade agreement.

FORMER PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA:  Because our focus is in negotiating with a big bloc, the European Union, to get a trade agreement done.  And the U.K. is going to be in the back of the queue.

MARGARET WARNER:  Mr. Trump, however, was a vocal Brexit supporter.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP:  People want to take their country back.

MARGARET WARNER:  And Nigel Farage, the man who led the Brexit movement, campaigned with Mr. Trump, and visited him in New York just days after his election.

Atop May's agenda now is to get President Trump to commit to negotiate a bilateral trade deal as soon as Britain leaves the E.U.  Yet, President Trump vows to put America first, and has already issued some protectionist orders, like insisting new oil pipelines be built with American steel.

Britain's ambassador to the U.S., Sir Kim Darroch, said what May needs now is a pledge to negotiate a deal, not the details.

SIR KIM DARROCH, U.S. Ambassador to the United States:  As we leave the E.U., we intend to go global to have a global series of trading relationships.  I think it's reassuring to the British public to know that the door over here is open to doing a deal quickly.

MARGARET WARNER:  Julian Borger, The Guardian's world affairs editor, said negotiating an exit from the E.U. won't be easy.

JULIAN BORGER, The Guardian:  It is going to be economically and politically very costly to do.  Trump's arrival is really a political lifeline for her.  She can say, we are now global Britain.  We look beyond Europe.  We have — there's a whole world out there that's willing to buy our stuff and stand with us.  And U.S. is exhibit 'A' our closest ally, special relationship.  These sort of ideas and phrases really resonate in the U.K.

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