Outgoing British Prime Minister Theresa May has met US President Donald Trump for a day focused on business and trade deals. At a joint press conference after their meeting, Trump praised May – a change of heart after previous withering remarks on her failure to succeed with Brexit.
"I have greatly enjoyed working with you. You are a tremendous professional and a person who loves her country very much," Trump said to May at Tuesday's press conference, adding that he would have “sued and settled” with the European Union.
May reiterated her call for a Brexit deal, which she says would better serve the British people than no deal. She is to resign as head of the Conservative Party on Friday, and will continue to serve as Prime Minister until a successor is chosen.
While Trump and May exchanged niceties, Britons opposed to the US President's visit protested on the streets of London, flying the Trump baby blimp. The event, called 'Carnival of Resistance', included a 16-foot robotic likeness of the US president seated on a golden toilet in Trafalgar Square.
Butting in to Brexit
Trump indicated prior to the UK visit that he would not be commenting on Britain's national politics, but the pro-Brexit US president couldn't resist speaking about the divorce and the next prime minister.
Trump claimed he had turned down a meeting with Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, while London-based tabloid The Sun reported that he had asked Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt for a meeting.
Boris Johnson, frontrunner to become the next PM, was again praised by Trump.
Although effuse on Brexit matters, a business meeting took place with 10 companies, half from the UK and half from the US. The list of attendees included heads of companies and senior representatives from BAE Systems, GlaxoSmithKline, National Grid, Barclays, Reckitt Benckiser, JP Morgan, Lockheed Martin, Goldman Sachs International, Bechtel and Splunk.
The US press noted that although Tuesday's focus was on politics and trade, his children, who are not involved in politics – including Eric Trump, Donald Trump Jr., and Tiffany Trump – were present during the Trump-May press conference.
“The White House has not offered an explanation as to why the president's children who have no role in the administration are on the trip,” according to CBS News, a US television station.
“It's also unclear who paid for their travel costs and associated expenses,” it added.
Trump is in the UK to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landing that took place on 6 June, 1944. The ceremony will begin in Portsmouth, England, where allied troops were launched, and then move across the English Channel to France, where soldiers hits the beaches of Normandy that began to turn the tide of World War Two.