Welcome to Day 3 of LibertyNation’s exclusive series covering President Donald Trump’s historic visit to the United Kingdom, covering the politics, the media, and the inside track on the president’s first official state visit to the junior partner in the Special Relationship. On Day 1, we set out the backdrop to this momentous visit; on Day 2, we dove into who is behind the protests that took place.
On the second day of President Donald Trump’s U.K. state visit, Brexit and trade were the key talking points. Trump met with British Prime Minister Theresa May, and according to reports, they discussed possible trade deals and what markets would open should an arrangement be made. Trump has repeatedly shown himself eager to reach a post-Brexit deal, but this has been held up by May’s lengthy and unsuccessful negotiations with the European Union.
Trade and Trump in Britain
Of potential trade deals, the president said, “I think everything with a trade deal is on the table. When you’re dealing in trade, everything is on the table – so NHS or anything else, a lot more than that, but everything will be on the table, absolutely.”
May, not keen on having foreign involvement with the National Health Service (NHS), responded, “The point in making trade deals is, of course, that both sides negotiate and come to an agreement about what should or should not be in that trade deal for the future.”
The president also met with Nigel Farage and other pro-Brexit figures. Fresh from his victory in the European elections, Farage has led the new Brexit Party to a powerful niche as the U.K.’s primary voice against E.U. membership. After the meeting, Farage tweeted:
“Good meeting with President Trump – he really believes in Brexit and is loving his trip to London.”
With Farage being notoriously closed-mouthed about personal meetings, it is not yet known what the two leaders discussed. He did, however, add on his LBC radio show that:
“Clearly, it was a private meeting, but what I can say is he was in top form, he was ebullient. He absolutely believes in Brexit, thinks it’s the right thing for the country to do. He’s obviously concerned it’s taking a very long time.”
The president also showed willingness to negotiate with the U.K. on intelligence sharing, despite its decision to allow Chinese Huawei technology into its 5G grid:
“We’re going to have absolutely an agreement on Huawei and everything else. We have an incredible intelligence relationship, and we will be able to work out any differences. We did discuss it — I see absolutely no limitations, we’ve never had limitations. This is a truly great ally and partner and we’ll have no problem with that.”
In the evening, President Trump had dinner at the American embassy with key personnel working in Britain.
Liberty Nation staff were on the ground in London to report on the public reaction to Trump’s presence. We estimate a crowd of around 10,000 arrived to protest against the president, although the event seemed significantly smaller than those that surrounded his 2018 U.K. working visit. While protesters were bussed in from around the country by activist groups, and even Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn turned up to deliver a speech, there was certainly less steam this time around. The pro-Trump movement also appeared to have lost momentum, with no organized rally and simply a few individuals who came out to support the president.
While the day was largely peaceful, and even party-like, there were a few verbal altercations between sides; a heavy police presence ensured that nothing got too badly out of hand. There were several main themes to the protests, including:
Pro-Palestinian: Given Trump’s openly friendly stance toward Israel, it is not surprising that many pro-Palestinian voices came out among the protesters. This topic was also the main cause of the clashes between the anti-Trump crowd and the few pro-Trump and seemingly pro-Israel individuals who turned up on the scene.
Trade: With Trump keen to negotiate a post-Brexit trade deal with the U.K., there is some anxiety over what this might mean for local products. Local food standards, currently regulated by the European Union, may be up for review in a post-Brexit world, and there are worries that under Trump’s trade deal, U.S. agricultural products, thought to be of a lower quality, may enter the British market. Chlorinated chicken has become a symbol for the overall issue of animal husbandry standards, one protester told LN. Concerns over U.S. business interests getting involved in the NHS were also visible.
Anti-War: From holding signs urging nuclear disarmament to imploring Trump not to attack Iran, protesters depicted him as a pro-war president.
Anti-Brexit: The overall impression was one linking President Trump with the supposedly right-wing populism of Brexit. European Union flags were flown, while protesters connected Trump’s image to that of Brexit poster boy Nigel Farage.
Climate Change: A major theme of the day, Trump’s climate change denial, was a key topic for protest.
Anti-Racism, Anti-sexism, Antifa: These standard anti-Trump voices were present, as expected, with the usual slogans.
Socialist & Communist: Political parties expressing these ideologies made a strong showing, providing signs and recruiting members.
One notable feature of the day was the large number of placards supplied by political parties and activist organizations. While a few protesters got creative, most had not made their own signs – a surprising observation in a supposedly grassroots movement.
What’s On Today
The president visits the coastal city of Portsmouth today, “to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of D-Day, at one of the primary embarkation sites for the Allied operation that led to the liberation of Europe during World War II.”
The local response has been mixed; while one city council leader complained that Trump’s visit “has changed things dramatically for D-Day 75 and has ruined things for the people of Portsmouth,” another local leader welcomed the attention the visit would bring: “For many of the veterans, having the president of America attend the event will bring international focus to this global commemoration and present a once in a lifetime opportunity for the veterans.”
Trump will then receive an official farewell from the Queen, before flying to Ireland for a visit with the country’s Taoiseach (leader) at Shannon Airport and an overnight stay at his Doonbeg hotel and golf resort in County Clare.
And then it’s off to France on June 6.
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