AT least Theresa May was spared some embarrassment when President Donald Trump chose to blame his predecessor Barack Obama for his impromptu decision not to visit London next month to officially open the new American Embassy.
Yet, while President Trump’s opponents were gleeful and the police relieved that they would not have to mount a security operation like no other, the fragile state of UK-US relations should be a wider source of concern.
Though Mrs May was the first world leader to visit the President in the White House after his inauguration last January, it’s surprising – given the importance of the so-called ‘special relationship’ between the two countries – that he’s not yet travelled to these shores.
It makes it even harder to finalise the state visit that he was afforded so graciously by the Queen a year ago. Yet, while many are uneasy at the prospect of hosting a world leader whose more extreme views are incompatible with this country’s values, President Emmanuel Macron and the French people were able to host the American president with alacrity.
And so should Britain. For, like it or not, trans-Atlantic trade ties, as well as diplomatic and defence co-operation, will always matter and the UK, frankly, isn’t in a position to take umbrage with its closest ally as it prepares to leave the EU.