by Graham Pierrepoint
It’s the meeting that many have been counting down to – with President-elect of the US, Donald Trump, due to be sworn in as the leader of the country in late January, it makes sense that the new President will need to make a few alliances with some of the existing world leaders. While UK Prime Minister Theresa May has only been in the top job since late 2016, she has cemented herself into her role fairly quickly – and, as a result, she too has had to make new alliances.
In February, May and Trump will meet as the leaders of the UK and US respectively for the first time – as Trump takes over the Oval Office from the outgoing Barack Obama, and as Theresa May begins to lead Britain towards the activation of Article 50 – thus starting the Brexit negotiation procedure – in the coming spring. Certainly, both figures have attained their positions as a result of considerable shift in predictable politics – May took over the top UK job from David Cameron after the statesman stepped down, which was following the result of the EU referendum last summer. Trump, meanwhile, emerged as the unlikely winner of a battle which many have continued to assert that Hillary Clinton could have won – and as the actual tally of the public vote shows, she more or less did. Indeed, there hasn’t been a polling upset of quite this magnitude since George W Bush beat Al Gore to the punch almost two decades ago.
May is said to be arranging to visit Trump at some point during February, likely both in an attempt to cement a new alliance and to redress the President-elect’s relationship with Nigel Farage, the ex-UKIP leader who has been courting media headlines for some time since the result of the EU referendum. Farage was suggested by Trump as a potentially suitable ambassador from the UK to the US, comments which caused a stir in the British media and provoked comments from many. Farage, however, has since taken on a role as part of LBC Radio’s weeknightly chat show lineup, and is therefore seemingly staying grounded for the time being.
Will May prove to Trump that she is the British voice to pay attention to? Will Trump be able to put some of the fears from UK citizens regarding his impending Presidency to bed? It will all come out in the wash, and we will surely know soon enough.