US President Donald Trump.
- US President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Theresa May are set to clash over issues including climate change and Huawei in Downing Street talks on Tuesday.
- In one of her final acts as prime minister, May will challenge Trump over his administration’s stance on climate change following the US decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement.
- The pair will both underline their support for a post-Brexit trade deal after Trump tweeted that “a “big Trade Deal is possible once U.K. gets rid of the shackles [of EU membership].”
- UK ministers have been forced to repeat that the National Health Service would not be any part of a trade deal.
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LONDON – Theresa May is set for robust discussions with Donald Trump on issues like climate change and her decision to let Chinese technology company Huawei develop the United Kingdom’s 5G mobile phone networks, when she hosts the president in Downing Street on Tuesday.
In one her final acts as prime minister, May is expected to challenge the US President over his administration’s stance on climate change, with a government spokesperson saying on Monday that the UK was disappointed with the United States’ decision in 2017 to withdraw from the Paris Agreement.
Trump is also expected to raise Huawei, which the US has blacklisted amid security concerns and which May has greenlit to build some 5G infrastructure in the UK. Trump is expected to demand that May revisits the decision.
The Downing Street meeting will take place amid mass anti-Trump protests in several major UK cities, including a protest in Trafalgar Square in central London. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn plans to address the rally in London.
Trump praised the “eternal friendship” between the UK and US during a state banquet at Buckingham Palace on Monday evening.
He also reignited a row with London mayor Sadiq Khan, who he called a “stone cold loser” as he landed in London.
May, who will resign as Conservative leader on Friday, will not host a one-on-one meeting with the president, which Downing Street insisted had never been planned.
The pair will instead take part in a series of painstakingly choreographed meetings designed to underpin business relations between the two countries and to highlight the potential benefits of a post-Brexit trade deal, starting with a joint business breakfast between UK and US firms at Number 10 on Tuesday.
May will insist the UK-US relationship is “a great partnership, but one I believe we can make greater still.”
The prime minister is also set to say: “With a bilateral free trade agreement, with broader economic cooperation and by continuing to work together to underpin, shape and influence the global economy and its rules and institutions – keeping markets free, fair and open, and keeping our industries competitive.”
Trump, meanwhile tweeted on Monday that a “big Trade Deal is possible once U.K. gets rid of the shackles [of EU membership].”
However, UK ministers have been forced to repeat that the National Health Service would not be any part of a trade deal, after the US ambassador Woody Johnson said on Sunday that “the entire economy” including healthcare should be “on the table” in future talks.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock, who is among the 13 candidates running to succeed May as prime minister, insisted the NHS was “not for sale.”
Downing Street appears to have been trying to give Trump coded messages in support of multilateral institutions including NATO and the UN which he has repeatedly criticised since becoming president.
When May visited Trump in 2017, she praised such institutions for “bringing peace and prosperity to billions of people” and will attempt to underline that message with her gift to the president, a framed copy of Winston Churchill’s personal draft of the Atlantic Charter, agreed with President Roosevelt in 1941.
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