Theresa May makes Brexit trade deal pitch at Donald Trump welcome dinner
Theresa May has used a lavish welcome dinner for Donald Trump at Blenheim Palace to press her case for an ambitious new trade deal with the US after Brexit.
Trump and Melania were pictured dressed up to the nines arriving for the dinner with the British prime minister and other key figures.
Critics of the Prime Minister’s proposals for future relations with the EU claim that her willingness to align with Brussels rules on agricultural produce will block a US deal, as Washington is certain to insist on the inclusion of GM crops and hormone-enhanced beef, which are banned in Europe.
But addressing the US president in front of an audience of business leaders at Winston Churchill’s birthplace, Mrs May insisted that Brexit provides an opportunity for an ‘unprecedented’ agreement to boost jobs and growth.
Noting that more than one million Americans already work for British-owned firms, she told Mr Trump: ‘As we prepare to leave the European Union, we have an unprecedented opportunity to do more.
Families told to remove community paddling pool so ‘burglars don’t drown’‘It’s an opportunity to reach a free trade agreement that creates jobs and growth here in the UK and right across the United States.
‘It’s also an opportunity to tear down the bureaucratic barriers that frustrate business leaders on both sides of the Atlantic.
‘And it’s an opportunity to shape the future of the world through co-operation in advanced technology, such as artificial intelligence.’
Mrs May and her husband Philip welcomed Mr Trump and wife Melania to the black-tie dinner on the first evening of the President’s working visit to the UK.
The Trumps arrived from London by Marine One helicopter before being driven in the armoured presidential limousine, nicknamed The Beast, to the opulent 18th century palace near Woodstock in Oxfordshire.
Built for the Duke of Marlborough in recognition of his military victories and named a Unesco World Heritage Site, Blenheim is one of a series of historic architectural gems Mr Trump will visit on a four-day trip which keeps him well away from protesters in central London.
His arrival was marked by a military ceremony, with bandsmen of the Scots, Irish and Welsh Guards playing the Liberty Fanfare, Amazing Grace and the National Emblem.
MP Jared O’Mara quits Labour party over suspension treatmentLeaders of the financial services, travel, creative, food, engineering, technology, infrastructure, pharmaceutical and defence sectors were among around 100 guests who dined on Scottish salmon, English Hereford beef fillet and strawberries with clotted cream ice-cream.
Mrs May told him: ‘Mr President, Sir Winston Churchill once said that ‘to have the United States at our side was, to me, the greatest joy’.
‘The spirit of friendship and co-operation between our countries, our leaders and our people, that most special of relationships, has a long and proud history.
‘Now, for the benefit of all our people, let us work together to build a more prosperous future.’
Mrs May said that the history, language, values and culture shared by the UK and US ‘inspire mutual respect’ and make the two nations ‘not just the closest of allies, but the dearest of friends’.