Theresa May 'forced to delay China trip due to Trump clash'

Posted On: 
6th October 2017

Theresa May has reportedly been forced to delay a key trade trip to China because it would have collapsed with Donald Trump's visit.

Theresa May and Xi Jinping pictured during last year's G20 summit in China

Sky News reports that Downing St had pencilled in a visit to the Far East for the second week of November, when Parliament is in recess.

Senior British business figures had also apparently been sounded out about accompanying the Prime Minister.

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However the trip has been postponed because President Trump is in Asia over the same period, with his tour taking in five different countries between 3 and 14 November.

The logistical difficulties of preparing for a visit have also been exacerbated by the Chinese Communist Party holding its annual Congress at the end of this month.

The news is a blow for the Government at a time when ministers are trying to forge ahead with plans for a post-Brexit 'Global Britain'. 

But Downing St insisted no plans had been made or agreed with the Chinese government. 

"This is nonsense. No 10 has neither organised nor publicised any such trip," a spokesperson said.

Trade Secretary Liam Fox has stressed that the UK will be able to "replicate" all the 40 existing trade deals it enjoys as an EU member state.

"I hear people saying 'oh we won't have any [free trade agreements] before we leave'. Well believe me we'll have up to 40 ready for one second after midnight in March 2019," he told a fringe meeting at the Conservative conference earlier this week.