1. ITV Report

Theresa May aims to boost US-UK relations during Donald Trump visit

Donald Trump arrives in the UK on Thursday. Credit: AP

Theresa May will be seeking to improve her often publicly strained relationship with Donald Trump as she pushes for a post-Brexit trade deal with America during his visit to Britain.

The US president is set to touch down for his visit on Thursday after sparking a new firestorm on the international stage.

Mr Trump caused a fresh row with American allies at a Nato summit, when he said Germany was “totally controlled” by Russia and ratcheted up demands for other members to pay more for their collective defence.

A massive policing and security operation costing up to £10 million will be in place during his four-day trip, during which the president will hold talks with Mrs May and meet the Queen.

Huge protests have been planned for the visit, but Mr Trump is expected to avoid areas such as central London where demonstrators could gather.

Ahead of his departure from the US, Mr Trump suggested the UK was in a state of "turmoil" after the resignations of Boris Johnson and David Davis, going out of his way to praise the former foreign secretary and suggesting it was "up to the people" whether Mrs May stays in office.

  • Trump on UK 'turmoil'

After visiting the UK, Mr Trump will travel to Helsinki for a summit with Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Mrs May expects the US president to remember the “malign behaviour” of Russia when he meets Mr Putin.

Downing Street made it clear that she wants the US leader to raise issues such as the Salisbury nerve agent attack on former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia at the meeting.

Ahead of Mr Trump’s visit, the PM said: “Our trade and investment relationship is unrivalled, we are the largest investors in each other’s economies and every day a million British people go to work for US companies in the UK and a million Americans go to work for UK companies in the US.

“This week we have an opportunity to deepen this unique trading relationship and begin discussions about how we will forge a strengthened, ambitious and future-proof trade partnership.

“As two nations, we are safer, more prosperous and more creative when we work together and I am looking forward to this week’s important discussions.”

The security operation for the visit is expected to cost £10 million. Credit: PA

The prime minister will host Mr Trump and his wife Melania at a lavish dinner at Blenheim Palace on Thursday evening.

After spending the night at the US ambassador’s official residence in Regent’s Park, London, Mr Trump will join the PM at a military base on Friday to observe a joint counter-terrorism exercise involving UK and US special forces.

The two leaders will hold talks at the Prime Minister’s country residence of Chequers where Russia, Brexit and the Middle East will top the agenda.

Mr Trump will then travel to Windsor Castle to meet the Queen before heading to Scotland for a private part of the four-day visit.

As part of the visit, Mrs Trump will meet veterans and schoolchildren in London on Friday, accompanied by the PM’s husband Philip May.

Mr Trump is believed to be spending the weekend playing golf at his Turnberry resort in South Ayrshire, which he bought in 2014, although there has been no official confirmation of his plans.

The menu for the dinner at Blenheim Palace includes Scottish salmon, English Hereford beef filet and vegetables, and strawberries and clotted cream ice cream.

While a working lunch at Chequers will consist of Dover sole, Chiltern lamb and vegetables, and lemon meringue pie.

A Trump 'baby blimp' will fly near Parliament during his visit. Credit: PA