Spe­cial re­la­tion­ship un­der in­tense strain

The Courier & Advertiser (Dundee Edition) - - COMMENT -

To a ca­sual ob­server, it could ap­pear that the UK’s re­la­tion­ship with the US President is be­com­ing in­creas­ingly fraught.

They may have fa­mously held hands when Theresa May be­came the first ma­jor for­eign leader to visit the White House just a week af­ter Don­ald Trump’s in­au­gu­ra­tion, but there have been rel­a­tively few signs of a con­vivi­al­ity since.

Mr Trump’s de­ci­sion to can­cel a visit to Britain, where he had been due to open the new Amer­i­can em­bassy, is the lat­est bump in the road — but will not yet prove fa­tal for the usu­ally cor­dial re­la­tion­ship be­tween the two al­lies.

Sev­eral times now Mrs May has found her­self in the some­what awk­ward po­si­tion of hav­ing to de­nounce her new friend. Soon af­ter her re­turn from the States, Mrs May ad­mit­ted his de­ter­mi­na­tion to ban refugees was some­thing she could “not agree” with.

Last Septem­ber, the PM was again un­der pres­sure to rit­i­cise the US President af­ter he told the world’s me­dia the Par­sons Green Tube bomber was “in the sights” of Scot­land Yard. Such spec­u­la­tion was, she warned, “un­help­ful”.

And, al­though ini­tially silent on the is­sue, amid mount­ing public anger, Mrs May even­tu­ally took Mr Trump to task for retweet­ing un­ver­i­fied footage from the con­tro­ver­sial Britain First group.

Through it all, the PM has in­sisted she “looks for­ward” to host­ing Mr Trump dur­ing an of­fi­cial state visit.

One won­ders just how grit­ted her teeth are...

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