Donald Trump makes Theresa May wait for trade assurance

A leaked memo on Brexit preparations highlights some of the problems Theresa May faces in calling an early election
A leaked memo on Brexit preparations highlights some of the problems Theresa May faces in calling an early election
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President-elect makes UK wait for Brexit trade reassurance - behind Egypt, Ireland, Mexico, Israel, Turkey, India, Japan, Australia, South Korea...

Donald Trump spoke with Theresa May for the first time since his stunning victory, inviting the Prime Minister to visit him in Washington “as soon as possible” after his inauguration on January 20.

The call only came, however, after Mr Trump had first spoken to a series of other world leaders including Ireland’s Enda Kenny.

Ministers played down the delay, insisting the “special relationship” between the US and the UK remained intact.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon indicates she would meet with Donald Trump

A No 10 spokesman said Mr Trump had set out his “close and personal connections with, and warmth for, the UK” and expressed confidence the special relationship would go “from strength to strength”.

Mrs May had then referred to the two countries’ “long history of shared values” saying they had “always stood together as close allies when it counts the most”.

The spokesman said: “President-elect Trump strongly agreed and added that the UK is a ‘very, very special place for me and for our country’.”

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson also spoke to Vice President-elect Mike Pence. He said: “We agreed on the importance of the special relationship and the need to tackle global challenges together.”

Former cabinet minister Iain Duncan Smith said the election of Mr Trump should be seen as an “opportunity” for the UK.

“He is well-disposed towards the UK. We’ve had a very poor special relationship with President Obama. It has been pretty much in the freezer now for about eight years,” he told BBC2’s Newsnight.

“I think there is a real opportunity for us now with Donald Trump there for us to be able to reinvigorate that relationship.”