The Prime Minister defended her decision to seek a close relationship with the Trump administration, stressing that she had secured his commitment to the Nato alliance.
But European leaders at a summit in Valletta warned that they would not let the controversial tycoon “trample” on their values and played down the role Mrs May could play as a bridge between the EU and US.
The Prime Minister, the first foreign leader to visit Mr Trump in the White House, said she was “pleased” to have seen him so early in his administration and stressed that she had secured a “100 per cent commitment” to Nato from him.
She stressed that in negotiations over Brexit she wanted to build a “strong partnership” with the EU and pledged the UK would be a “good friend and ally”.
But German Chancellor Angela Merkel –to whom Mrs May chatted during a walk through the Maltese capital but did not have a formal meeting with – warned against allowing a “race to the lowest taxes to take place” when asked about the suggestion that the UK could slash business tax rates to remain economically competitive if it failed to strike a Brexit deal. The Prime Minister updated the 27 other EU leaders about her visit to Washington and advised them to engage “patiently and constructively” with the new administration.