HAMBURG, Germany (AP) — British Prime Minister Theresa May said Saturday that she’s looking forward to welcoming U.S. President Donald Trump to London, but both sides still are working to find a “suitable date.”
May also said she was optimistic about hoped-for future trade pacts with the U.S. and other countries after meeting Trump at the Group of 20 summit.
Trump said a deal between the U.S. and Britain, which is leaving the European Union, would be “great for both countries” and can be achieved quickly.
Trump also squashed speculation that he would not be visiting London after all, saying that “we’ll work that out” and he will be making the trip.
May was the first world leader to visit Trump at the White House earlier this year, bringing an invitation from Queen Elizabeth II for Trump to come to London this year on a state visit.
But opposition to the idea mounted quickly. Some Britons called the invitation premature given the divisiveness of the U.S. presidential race and Trump’s political inexperience. Last month, London’s mayor called for the invitation to be rescinded after Trump criticized the mayor’s response to a deadly extremist attack.
May said Trump made clear “that he was very keen to come to London.” She said she looked forward to welcoming him and “we are working on what a suitable date would be for such a visit.”
Britain’s government is keen to secure new trade deals with the U.S. and other global partners after its departure from the EU, expected in 2019 after divorce negotiations.
Trump, who gave an enthusiastic welcome to Britain’s vote last year to leave the European bloc, held out the prospect of an early agreement.
“We’re working on a trade deal, which will be a very big deal, and a very powerful deal, great for both countries,” he said as he met May in Hamburg. “And I think we’ll have that done very, very quickly.”
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