Britain's May Has Tricky Task as She Meets Trump

She must forge strong ties with a man disliked in her own country
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 27, 2017 6:28 AM CST

(Newser) – British Prime Minister Theresa May visits the White House Friday for President Trump's first meeting with an international leader. Previews on what to expect:

  • Their personalities could not be more different, she the "stiff headmistress," he the "great salesman," reports the New York Times. But observers quoted in the piece note that "odd couples" often end up great partners. Indeed, sometimes "opposites attract," says May herself, per Newsweek.
  • This is a dicey trip for May, explains an analysis at Politico. Britain needs strong ties to the US, especially post-Brexit, which means she'll have to make nice with a man who is "loathed" by many in her home country.
  • In a speech Thursday night to Republican lawmakers in Philadelphia, May urged the US not to ditch the Iran nuclear deal and to support NATO, reports CNN. She also issued this line: "The days of Britain and America intervening in sovereign countries in an attempt to remake the world in our own image are over. But nor can we afford to stand idly by when the threat is real and when it is in our own interests to intervene."

  • The Guardian's assessment of that speech: May knows a strong relationship is vital, but she'll talk tough when necessary.
  • So what will they talk about Friday? The big issues will be trade opportunities once Britain exits the EU, intelligence cooperation, and the fate of NATO (which Trump has called "obsolete"), reports the BBC.
  • MarketWatch lays out three more specific topics: taxes, welfare benefits, and airport privatization. Details here.
  • May plans to give Trump a quaich as a gift. What's a quaich? A two-handled Scottish drinking vessel that's pronounced "quake," explains NBC News. (Trump is Scottish, though also a teetotaler.)
  • On Saturday, Trump is expected to have a phone conversation with none other than Vladimir Putin, reports ABC News.
(Read more Theresa May stories.)

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