Trump State Visit to U.K. Faces Turbulence Amid Brexit Chaos – The New York Times
Supporters of Brexit have held up a trade deal as one of the prizes of a complete break with Europe. It would be controversial, however: Some experts say it would force Britain to lower its food and agricultural standards to let in American products, and hand over too much influence to American companies in Britain’s health system.
The White House did not reveal a detailed policy agenda for the visit, and some officials have questioned the utility of having Mr. Trump meet Mrs. May three days before she relinquishes power. That has put more focus on whether he would meet Mr. Farage or Mr. Johnson, something that is not on the formal schedule but that could happen during Mr. Trump’s ample downtime.
In his interview with The Sunday Times, Mr. Trump was unstinting in his praise for Mr. Farage. “He is a very smart person,” the president said. “They won’t bring him in. Think how well they would do if they did.”
For Mr. Trump, the triumph of Mr. Farage’s Brexit Party in recent elections for the European Parliament could be seen as an endorsement of the Briton’s brand of populism. But the political picture across Europe is murkier, with new parties on the left and right advancing, while the mainstream parties, including the Conservative and Labour parties in Britain, shrank.
For all the potential static in London, Mr. Trump’s meetings here might be the most congenial of his trip. On his layover in Ireland, the president will meet with Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, who has spoken out passionately against Brexit. And while in Normandy for the D-Day commemoration, Mr. Trump will meet with President Emmanuel Macron of France, with whom his once warm relationship has chilled.
“They still have a functioning relationship, even if the romance is gone,” Mr. Wright of the Brookings Institution said of the American and French leaders. “If there is anything substantive on the agenda, it will be Macron trying to dissuade Trump from moving from China to Europe with tariffs.”