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  1. ITV Report

Donald Trump hosted by Theresa May at Blenheim Palace

  • Video report by ITV News Washington Correspondent Robert Moore

Theresa May hosted Donald Trump at Blenheim Palace for a lavish dinner on Thursday night as the US President enjoyed a working trip to the UK.

The Prime Minister aimed to use the dinner to push her case for a trade deal with the US ahead of Brexit.

The US president landed at Stansted Airport on Thursday afternoon with First Lady Melania, just a couple of hours after delivering a speech to Nato in Brussels.

Many suspect Mrs May's desire to align the UK closely with the EU could block a potential deal with the US as any potential deal with Trump involving food produce would result in Washington insisting on including GM crops and hormone-enhanced beef, which are banned across Europe.

Credit: AP

But addressing the US president in front of an audience of business leaders at Winston Churchill's birthplace, Mrs May insisted that Brexit provides an opportunity for an "unprecedented" agreement to boost jobs and growth. Noting that more than one million Americans already work for British-owned firms, she told Mr Trump: "As we prepare to leave the European Union, we have an unprecedented opportunity to do more.

"It's an opportunity to reach a free trade agreement that creates jobs and growth here in the UK and right across the United States.

"It's also an opportunity to tear down the bureaucratic barriers that frustrate business leaders on both sides of the Atlantic."

  • Trump arrives at Blenheim Palace

Trump is expected to travel to Scotland and visit his golf course, Turnberry, over the weekend.

Ahead of his four-day visit, President Trump said he believed "they like me a lot in the UK".

His prediction was in spite of a number of seemingly antagonistic comments prior to his arrival, including describing UK as going through "turmoil" and being a "hot spot" for resignations - a reference to the departures of David Davis and Boris Johnson.

He also came across unfazed by protests due to take place during his stay.

Among those were demonstrators who gathered outside of Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire with anti-Trump placards.

Protesters outside the entrance to Blenheim Palace ahead of the dinner hosted by Theresa May. Credit: PA
This banner in central London dubbed President Trump a 'human rights nightmare'. Credit: PA

According to a poll conducted by YouGov for ITV Tonight, three quarters of the British population have an unfavourable view of their visitor.

But President Trump told reporters in Belgium: "I think it's fine, I think they like me a lot in the UK.

"I think they agree with me on immigration. I think that's why Brexit happened."

  • Trump arriving at Stanstead

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Asked about the possibility of a hard Brexit, Mr Trump said: "I would say that Brexit is Brexit.

"The people voted to break it up so I imagine that's what they'll do but maybe they will take a different route. I just want people to be happy."

The president also said it seemed as though the UK was "getting at least partially involved back with the European Union".

"I'd like to see them be able to work it out so it could go quickly," he said.

President Trump was quickly whisked away by helicopter. Credit: PA

President Trump has a busy itinerary planned for his trip.

He is set to attend a black-tie dinner at the Grade I-listed Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire on Thursday evening, as hosted by Prime Minister Theresa May.

Mrs May and President Trump will also meet on Friday morning for a demonstration of the UK’s military muscle.

Security was tight ahead of the visit. Credit: PA

The president will then visit the prime minister's country house, Chequers, for what is being billed as “substantive bilateral talks on a range of foreign policy issues”.

This could include trade tariffs, Russia and North Korea.

Donald Trump will also meet the Queen at Windsor Castle on his four day trip.

He will not, however, be honoured with a state visit, which would include an official banquet at Buckingham Palace or a carriage procession up the Mall.

The president's visit to the UK will last four days. Credit: PA