British PM defends bilateral ties with US

Vidya Ram London | Updated on January 09, 2018

Prime Minister Theresa May... Britain-US relationship is “enduring” and in the interests of the two countries, and the “wider world.”

Playing downs tweeting troubles, May says state-visit invitation will not be withdrawn

British Prime Minister Theresa May has defended Britain’s bilateral relationship with the United States amid mounting pressure over the invitation for a state-visit extended to US President Donald Trump last year, with London Mayor Sadiq Khan and other party leaders calling for its withdrawal.

Following Downing Street’s condemnation of Trump’s retweeting of postings by far right group Britain First— alongside other political parties— Trump lashed out at Prime Minister Theresa May online, first tagging the wrong twitter account in his response. “Theresa May, don’t focus on me, focus on the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom. We are doing just fine.”

While May reiterated her criticism of his tweets on a trip to Jordan, insisting it was the “wrong thing to do”, she said the state-visit invitation will not be withdrawn, defending what she described as a “long-term special relationship,” between the two nations that was “enduring” and in the interests of Britain, the US and the “wider world.”

Trump’s retweets of a group that has particularly disturbing associations in the UK, not least because the murderer of Labour MP Jo Cox last year invoked the words “Britain First,” prompted criticism from across the political spectrum.

While Downing Street said he was “wrong,” Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn described him as a “threat to our society.” Conservative minister Sajiv Javid condemned Trump for endorsing the views of a “vile, hate filled organisation that hates me and people like me.”


Visit- invite

However, for the government has stopped short of withdrawing the invitation of a state-visit for which, it is now facing sharp criticism from opposition parties. London Mayor Sadiq Khan reiterated previous calls for its cancellation.

“It is increasingly clear that an official visit at all from President Trump to Britain would not be welcomed.

The Prime Minister of our country any influence she and her government claim to have with the President, and his administration to ask him to delete these tweets and to apologise to the British people,” he said on Thursday.

However, Home Secretary Amber Rudd, facing urgent questions in the House of Commons on the issue as May is on an official trip to the Middle East, called on MPs to look at the “wider picture.” “As Home Secretary I can tell the House the importance of the relationship. The unparalleled sharing of information is vital…it has undoubtedly saved British lives,” she said.

Unprecedented challenge

The stand-off over the Twitter postings of Trump pose an unprecedented challenge to what has been hailed as the “special relationship” between Britain and the United States. Since he took office, the government has faced criticism over its reluctance to speak out against the US government. Britain’s reluctance has repeatedly been cited by commentators as examples of the challenge facing British foreign policy going forward, and the fear that by exiting the European Union it will be less able to speak out against other nations for fear of jeopardising trade relations.

“Theresa May’s extreme Brexit has alienated our European allies, and now she has lost her last major friend on the world stage, leaving Britain isolated and alone.

The solution is clear: an exit from Brexit and a divorce from Trump,’ said Vincent Cable, the leader of the Liberal Democrats on Thursday.

Published on November 30, 2017

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