Home UK Theresa May makes Brexit trade deal pitch at Donald Trump welcome dinner

Theresa May makes Brexit trade deal pitch at Donald Trump welcome dinner

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Theresa May has used a lavish welcome dinner for Donald Trump at Blenheim Palace to press her case for an ambitious new trade deal with the US after Brexit.

Trump and Melania were pictured dressed up to the nines arriving for the dinner with the British prime minister and other key figures.

Critics of the Prime Ministers proposals for future relations with the EU claim that her willingness to align with Brussels rules on agricultural produce will block a US deal, as Washington is certain to insist on the inclusion of GM crops and hormone-enhanced beef, which are banned in Europe.

Theresa May makes Brexit trade deal pitch at Donald Trump welcome dinner

Trump and Melania were pictured dressed up to the nines arriving for the dinner with the British prime minister and other key figures. (Picture: AFP)

But addressing the US president in front of an audience of business leaders at Winston Churchills birthplace, Mrs May insisted that Brexit provides an opportunity for an unprecedented agreement to boost jobs and growth.

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Noting that more than one million Americans already work for British-owned firms, she told Mr Trump: As we prepare to leave the European Union, we have an unprecedented opportunity to do more.

Maria Young who has been told to remove a paddling pool from the back garden in Strood, Kent. See National story NNPOOL; Residents trying to beat the summer heatwave are boiling with rage after being told to remove their community paddling pool each night - in case a burglar DROWNS. Maria Young and her neighbours who live in the same block of flats clubbed together and bought the 12ft pool and cover for ?64 for their communal garden. But the landlord company has since told them to take it down altogether or empty it out each night for 'health and safety' reasons - despite it having nothing to do with the Health and Safety Executive. Bosses at mhs Homes, which manages the block of six flats, told residents at the building in Strood, Kent, they were worried children from the surrounding area and potential burglars wandering onto the site at night could trip and fall in the water.Families told to remove community paddling pool so 'burglars don't drown'

Its an opportunity to reach a free trade agreement that creates jobs and growth here in the UK and right across the United States.

Its also an opportunity to tear down the bureaucratic barriers that frustrate business leaders on both sides of the Atlantic.

And its an opportunity to shape the future of the world through co-operation in advanced technology, such as artificial intelligence.

Mrs May and her husband Philip welcomed Mr Trump and wife Melania to the black-tie dinner on the first evening of the Presidents working visit to the UK.

The Trumps arrived from London by Marine One helicopter before being driven in the armoured presidential limousine, nicknamed The Beast, to the opulent 18th century palace near Woodstock in Oxfordshire.

British Prime Minster Theresa May and her husband Philip, walk down the front steps to welcome U.S. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump to Blenheim Palace, where they are attending a dinner with specially invited guests and business leaders, near Oxford, Britain, July 12, 2018. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

Theresa May has used a lavish welcome dinner for Donald Trump at Blenheim Palace to press her case for an ambitious new trade deal with the US after Brexit. (Picture: Reuters)

Built for the Duke of Marlborough in recognition of his military victories and named a Unesco World Heritage Site, Blenheim is one of a series of historic architectural gems Mr Trump will visit on a four-day trip which keeps him well away from protesters in central London.

His arrival was marked by a military ceremony, with bandsmen of the Scots, Irish and Welsh Guards playing the Liberty Fanfare, Amazing Grace and the National Emblem.

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Leaders of the financial services, travel, creative, food, engineering, technology, infrastructure, pharmaceutical and defence sectors were among around 100 guests who dined on Scottish salmon, English Hereford beef fillet and strawberries with clotted cream ice-cream.

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Mrs May told him: Mr President, Sir Winston Churchill once said that to have the United States at our side was, to me, the greatest joy.

The spirit of friendship and co-operation between our countries, our leaders and our people, that most special of relationships, has a long and proud history.

Now, for the benefit of all our people, let us work together to build a more prosperous future.

Mrs May said that the history, language, values and culture shared by the UK and US inspire mutual respect and make the two nations not just the closest of allies, but the dearest of friends.

U.S. President Donald Trump and the First Lady Melania Trump leave the U.S. ambassador's residence, Winfield House, where they are staying, on their way to Blenheim Palace for dinner with Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May and business leaders, in London, Britain, July 12, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

His arrival was marked by a military ceremony, with bandsmen of the Scots, Irish and Welsh Guards playing the Liberty Fanfare, Amazing Grace and the National Emblem. (Picture: Reuters)

In an apparent plea to the president to remember his allies when he meets Vladimir Putin in Helsinki in Monday, she noted that Britain and America work closely together in the interests of their shared security, whether through targeting Daesh terrorists or standing up to Russian aggression.

She also highlighted the importance of trans-Atlantic business links to a president who has sometimes seemed more interested in forging new links with former adversaries around the world, rather than nurturing long-standing partnerships.

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Britain and the US are the largest investors in each others economies, with over a trillion dollars of investments between then, said Mrs May.

And she told the president: The strength and breadth of Britains contribution to the US economy cannot be understated.

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The UK is the largest investor in the US, providing nearly a fifth of all foreign investment in your country.

We invest 30% more than our nearest rival.

More than 20 times what China invests. And more than France and Germany combined.

That all means a great deal more than simply numbers in bank accounts.

It means jobs, opportunities and wealth for hardworking people right across America.

Members of the British government and other guests await the arrival at Blenheim Palace of the U.S. President Donald Trump and the First Lady Melania Trump who are attending a dinner with Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May and business leaders, near Oxford, Britain, July 12, 2018. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

Members of the British government and other guests await the arrival at Blenheim Palace (Picture: Reuters)

British firms represented at the Blenheim banquet alone employ more than 250,000 people in the US, she said.

Mrs May was joined at Blenheim by ministers including Chancellor Philip Hammond, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson, Trade Secretary Liam Fox, Business Secretary Greg Clark, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling and her effective deputy David Lidington.

Donald Trump and Melania arrive at Theresa May's banquet amid protests

Boris Johnson missed out on a seat at the table by resigning as foreign secretary on Monday in protest at Mrs Mays Brexit policy, though Mr Trump has said he might try to speak to him during his visit.

The Countess of Wessexs Orchestra played British and American hits of the 20th century during dinner.

And Mr Trump, whose mother was Scottish, was piped out by the Royal Regiment of Scotland as he and Melania left to spend the night at the US ambassadors residence in Londons Regents Park.

Outside the palace gates, several hundred protesters waved banners and placards reading Dump Trump, Not Welcome Here, Protect children Not Trump and Keep Your Tiny Hands Off My Pussy!

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