Prime Minister Theresa May made a determined pitch to Donald Trump for a post-Brexit trade deal with the United States on his first trip to Britain on Thursday, just hours after the American president questioned her plans for leaving the European Union.
Invoking the spirit of Winston Churchill as she addressed Trump and business leaders at the British World War Two leader’s birthplace, May praised the friendship between the two close allies, glossing over remarks from the president that he was entering a “hot spot”, with Britain in turmoil over Brexit.
Outside Blenheim Palace, near Oxford to the northwest of London, a couple of thousand demonstrators lined the road and booed before Trump’s arrival, one of over 100 protests police expect to take place during his four-day trip.
After arriving by helicopter, Trump stood alongside May on a red carpet on the steps of Blenheim Palace while a military band of British army guardsmen, wearing tall black bearskin hats and red jackets, performed for the two leaders and their spouses.
Within the walls of the grand 18th-century mansion, May had only warm words, calling Britain and the United States “not just the closest of allies but the dearest of friends”.