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Thursday, Nov 21, 2019

Theresa May says she is not afraid to challenge Donald Trump

British Prime Minister Theresa May said Sunday she plans to discuss free trade and the importance of the NATO military alliance when she becomes the first foreign leader to meet with U.S. President Donald Trump in Washington.

world Updated: Jan 22, 2017 22:31 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
Prasun Sonwalkar
Hindustan Times, London
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May speaks on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show.
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May speaks on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show.(Reuters Photo)

Prime Minister Theresa May will be the first world leader to meet US President Donald Trump, but after a day of worldwide protests by women against his comments on women, she declared on Sunday that she “won’t be afraid” to challenge him on issues.

Britain and the United States have a “special relationship”, but leading lights of Britain’s political establishment have been derisive of Trump during the presidential campaign. Trump has large business interests in Scotland.

Speaking to BBC, May – who is due to meet him in the White House on Friday – said: “I have already said that some of the comments he has made in relation to women are unacceptable, and for some of those he himself apologised for.”

“When I sit down with him for talks,I think the biggest statement that will be made about the role of women is that I will be there as a female prime minister, talking to him directly. I have a track record of defending the interests of women, on modern slavery, domestic violence and so forth.”

“The special relationship also enables us to say when we do find some things unacceptable. Whenever there is something that I find unacceptable, I won’t be afraid to say that to Donald Trump.”

Top of the agenda for talks will be a post-Brexit free trade deal with the US. While former president Barack Obama said during the EU referendum campaign that Britain would be atthe “back of the queue” if it voted for Brexit, Trump has differed views.

Asked in an interview last weekwhether he would press ahead with a trade deal with Britain after Brexit, Trump said: “Absolutely, very quickly. I’m a big fan of the UK. We’re gonna work very hard to get it done quickly and done properly. Good for both sides.”

A large number of women gathered in London and elsewhere on Saturday to join worldwide protests by women against Trump’s comments about women.