The Times view on an American state visit to Brexit Britain: Trump’s Trip

The Times view on an American state visit to Brexit Britain: Trump’s Trip

Britain needs US support in its travails and should welcome the president

Síntesis de prensa británica -miércoles, 24 de abril de 20193LEADING ARTICLEapril 24 2019, 12:01am,the timesThe Times view on an American state visit to Brexit Britain: Trump’s TripBritain needs US support in its travails and should welcome the presidentAn American president of conservative opinions visits Britain in the face of opposition from the Labour Party under a left-wing leader, big demonstrations and widespread media derision. Yet his address to parliamentarians is a triumph in its fluent delivery, resonant message and immediate effectiveness in cementing Anglo-American relations.

This was the year 1982 when Ronald Reagan visited Britain. It was announced yesterday that his Republican successor Donald Trump will pay a state visit to Britain from June 3-5. Mr Trump’s plentiful critics have alreadyvoiced outrage at the honour accorded to a president who is notoriously willing to voice criticisms of America’s allies while lavishing praise on foreign autocrats. They should recall the historical precedent and welcome the prospect of strengthening the Anglo-American alliance inturbulent times for Britain’s place in the international order.

Mr Trump will be only the third American president after George W Bush in 2003 and Barack Obama in 2011 to be invited by Buckingham Palace on a state visit. TheresaMay promised this to the newly elected Mr Trump in 2016. The president’s previous visit to Britain in office was a working trip when he met the Queen at Windsor Castle.

There is ample ceremonial reason why Mr Trump should visit Britain on the eve of the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings. He will travel on to France for a series of commemorative events. The Anglo-American alliance that preserved European civilisation from barbarism was no inevitability. Vocal strands of opinion in both capitals cautioned against engagement in a European war. It took tough and far-sighted political leadership to face them down. It will be only a few years before these events pass out of living memory and future generations need to understand their importance.

More pragmatically, Britain needs American support in its present travails. There is nothing ignoble in this. When Reagan visited 37 years ago, this country had recently concluded a just and necessary war to repel Argentine aggression in the Falklands. The president’s support was crucial in firming international opinion, supplying advanced weapons and correctly framing the diplomatic stakes. Reagan was not accorded, as he should have been, an address to a joint session of parliament. Instead he spoke in the Royal Gallery to parliamentarians who wished to hear him.

Britain then faced discord even with traditional allies. It does so again now in Mrs May’s hapless attempts to secure Brexit. The French ambassador to Washington is said to have gloated at Britain’s retreat into insularity. Mrs May’s government must refute this suggestion with a demonstration of the solidity of Britain’s alliances. Whatever the fate of her plans for Brexit, and the state of her own political fortunes, Britain’s interests require deep security relations with the western alliance and the maintenance of open trade.

John Bercow, Speaker of the House of Commons, has the gift of acceding to a request for Mr Trump to address parliament. He should not impede it. The office of the American presidency is greater than the personality of anyone who holds it. Mr Trump places particular store on personal relations with heads of government. It is right in principle, and it accords with this nation’s interests, to treat him as an honoured guest.

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