Theresa May looking forward to building on ties with US during Donald Trump state visit

  • Video report by ITV News International Affairs Editor Rageh Omaar

Theresa May has said she is looking forward to building on the "strong and enduring ties" between the UK and US as she prepares to welcome Donald Trump to Britain.

The Prime Minister said the state visit would mark a "significant week" for the "special relationship" between the two countries, and provide an opportunity to "further strengthen" the partnership.

On the eve of Mr Trump’s arrival, his ambassador to the UK, Woody Johnson, waded into the Huawei controversy and the possibility the Chinese company could be involved in building Britain’s 5G network.

State visits to the UK by US presidents Credit: PA Graphics

He said he would "caution" the UK Government to move much more slowly on the decision and warned the impact on intelligence arrangements was "to be determined" if the UK involved the company.

In a sign of divisions within Cabinet over the issue, Home Secretary Sajid Javid said he would not want "any company, whichever country it’s from, that has a high degree of control by a foreign government, to have access to our very sensitive tech communications".

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt also expressed concerns, telling US TV station CBS: "We have to ask as Western countries whether it is wise to allow one country to have such a commanding monopoly in the technologies that we’re all of us going to be depending on."

It is thought Mr Trump and Mrs May will discuss the issue this week.

The PM is expected to attend a state banquet hosted by the Queen at Buckingham Palace on Monday evening, where Mr Trump and the monarch will make speeches.

US President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Theresa during a press conference in July 2018. Credit: PA

On the eve of his visit, the PM said: "This is a significant week for the special relationship and an opportunity to further strengthen our already close partnership.

"During his state visit to the UK the president and I will be taking part in an historic commemoration of the D-Day landings and the sacrifice our armed forces made 75 years ago.

"And as we reflect on our shared history and honour those who fought so bravely on the beaches of Normandy, we also look to the future."

She said the relationship between the two countries had "underpinned" their security and prosperity for many years and will continue to do so for "generations to come".

"We do more together than any other nations in the world. We are the largest investors in each other’s economies and our strong trading relationship and close business links create jobs, opportunities and wealth for our citizens."

"Our security relationship too is deeper, broader and more advanced than with anyone else. Through joint military operations, unrivalled intelligence-sharing and our commitment to Nato, our global leadership remains at the heart of international peace and stability.

"So I look forward to welcoming President Trump to the UK and to building on the strong and enduring ties between our countries."

Mr Trump and his wife Melania will arrive on Monday morning and be officially welcomed by the Queen, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall at Buckingham Palace.

He will then have a private lunch with the Queen and view a special exhibition of items of historical significance to the United States from the Royal Collection.

Later, accompanied by the Duke of York, Mr and Mrs Trump will visit Westminster Abbey for a tour, and the president will lay a wreath at the Grave of the Unknown Warrior.