DONALD Trump has sought to bolster the US-UK Special Relationship amid diplomatic turbulence by telling Theresa May: “We love your country.”
Arriving with his usual characteristic swagger at the World Economic Forum in Davos, the US President following a one-to-one meeting with the Prime Minister predicted a post-Brexit boost in UK-US trade.
“The discussions…that will be taking place are going to lead to tremendous increase in trade between our countries, which is great for both in terms of jobs,” he declared.
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“We look forward to that and we are starting that process pretty much as we speak.”
The President also insisted their two countries were “joined at the hip” in their military co-operation, noting: “There’s nothing that would happen to you[where] we wouldn’t be there to fight for you. You know that.”
Mr Trump said he wanted to correct a “false rumour” of a trans-Atlantic rift, which was sparked by their earlier spat over his retweeting of videos by far-right group Britain First and his decision not to visit London for the opening of the new US embassy.
He claimed he and Mrs May had a mutual feeling of ‘liking each other a lot”.
Shaking hands with her before the cameras at the Swiss ski resort, the President said that they would “talk about” his mooted state visit to the UK. But neither he nor the PM gave any clue when it might take place.
After their meeting, Mr Trump told Mrs May at a news conference: “I have great respect for everything you are doing. We love your country; I think it’s really great.”
The PM said she and the president had enjoyed “a great discussion”.
“We continue to have that really special relationship between the UK and the United States, standing shoulder to shoulder because we are facing the same challenges across the world.
“As you say, we are working together to defeat those challenges and to meet them. And alongside that, working for a good trade relationship in the future which will be to both our benefits.
“So the UK and the US both do well out of this,” she added.
Earlier, Steven Mnuchin, the US Treasury Secretary, said the UK would still be at the “front of the queue” for a trade deal.
“As soon as the UK is ready we will be prepared to negotiate an attractive trade deal,” he told the BBC.
Mr Mnuchin met Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of England, to discuss Brexit, and he will meet Chancellor Philip Hammond later today.
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