Prime Minister Theresa May has been keen to stress the Special Relationship that exists between Britain and the US in her first visit to America since Donald Trump became President.
Mrs May said that Britain and the US “have a joint responsibility to lead” but will not do so in the same way as previous administrations have done.
The Prime Minister will lay a wreath at the grave of the unknown soldier in Arlington National Cemetery before having a face to face meeting with President Trump in the Oval Office later today.
Both countries are at new phases in their history, with Britain soon to be exiting the EU and the US having a new president after eight years of the Obama administration. It is a tense time for both countries, with both having to heal after very polarising political campaigns (Brexit and the US Presidential election).
The Prime Minister argued that a new “special relationship” would be nothing like the previous one between Tony Blair and George W Bush, which saw high profile invasions Iraq and Afghanistan. “The days of Britain and America intervening in sovereign countries in an attempt to remake the world in our own image are decisively over.”
But as she distanced herself from one previous special relationship, she was keen to stress the parallels between today and the relationship between Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher particularly when dealing with Russian Premier Vladimir Putin saying “We should build the relationships, systems and processes that make cooperation more likely than conflict – and give assurance to Russia’s neighbouring states that their security is not in question. We should not jeopardise the freedoms that President Reagan and Mrs Thatcher brought to Eastern Europe by accepting President Putin’s claim that it is now in his sphere of influence.”
May said that she was determined to deepen links between the two countries, adding “It is in our interests – those of Britain and America together – to stand strong together to defend our values, our interests and the very ideas in which we believe.”
When asked how the temperaments of brash billionaire and a vicars daughter would interact ahead of her meeting this afternoon, the Prime Minister said “Haven’t you ever noticed, sometimes opposites attract?”