It’s official, Donald Trump has touched down in the UK.
To say this is a slightly controversial visit is perhaps the biggest understatement since Liam Fox said negotiating a free trade agreement with the EU would be one of the easiest in human history. Despite FCO Minister Sir Alan Duncan earnestly telling us that the visit so far has been a success, it is clear that it has been anything but.
Just 24 hours after having entered the UK, Donald Trump has already managed to stir up a political storm. The morning after Air Force One touched down at Stansted, the UK woke up to the headlines declaring “May has wrecked Brexit”, “US trade deal is off” and “Boris Johnson would be a great prime minister”.
No, this wasn’t just your average Daily Mail rant but instead words coming directly from the mouth of President Trump. The President proudly proclaimed in an interview with The Sun that he had instructed Theresa May on how to conduct the Brexit negotiations but she hadn’t listened resulting in the current mess, putting it politely, that we have found ourselves in.
Once again, we are seeing clearly that all is not well in the Special Relationship. Most significantly for Theresa May, this visit is far from the diplomatic triumph she envisioned, having already turned into a nightmare. Just as she had ridden the wave of high profile resignations following the Chequers Deal, Trump’s interview served to seriously undermine the negotiating plan that deal set out. Not only that, but the US President actually gave a soft endorsement of perhaps one of her biggest rivals in the Brexiteer camp, Boris Johnson, for her own job. That is not to mention the criticism she has received for even inviting him over in the first place and the giant orange baby she has floating above the Houses of Parliament.
It’s certainly a curious brand of diplomacy by Trump and given the week she’s had, we’re not sure it’s one that May will appreciate.