Theresa May hails UK's 'uniquely close relationship' with America ahead of Trump visit
Theresa May has hailed the "uniquely close" relationship between Britain and America as she prepared to host Donald Trump for the first time.
The US President will fly into the UK on Thursday afternoon after attending the the Nato summit in Brussels.
His visit comes against a backdrop of high-profile spats between London and Washington since President Trump entered the White House.
As recently as Tuesday, he said the UK was in "turmoil" and hinted that he could meet up with Boris Johnson - who quit as Foreign Secretary this week - while he is in London.
Significantly, Mrs May made no reference to the President in remarks issued in advance of his visit by Downing Street.
Instead, she focused on the need for Britain and America to maintain their close links after Brexit.
She said: "When we leave the European Union we will begin to chart a new course for Britain in the world and our global alliances will be stronger than ever.
"There is no stronger alliance than that of our special relationship with the US and there will be no alliance more important in the years ahead.
"The UK and the US already have a uniquely close partnership in the fight for democracy and global security and we share a global outlook across the vast majority of foreign policy issues.
"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."
Tens of thousands of protesters are expected to take to the streets of London for the President's visit, but he will avoid them by spending most of his time away from the capital.
President Trump and his wife Melania will attend a black tie dinner at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire - the birthplace of Winston Churchill - on Thursday night.
More than 100 guests will attend the dinner, including Mrs May, some of her ministers, and representatives from the financial services, food and drink, engineering, tech, infrastructure, pharmaceuticals, defence and creative sectors.
The President and Prime Minister will visit a defence site "to witness a demonstration of the UK’s cutting edge military capabilities and integrated UK-US military training" on Friday morning, before the pair hold bilateral talks on foreign policy issues at Chequers.
Later that afternoon, President Trump and the First Lady will travel to Windsor Castle to meet the Queen, before flying to Scotland, where they are expected to stay until Sunday.
The Prime Minister was the first foreign leader to visit the White House after President Trump was sworn in last year, but they have had an uneasy relationship ever since.
Last November, Mrs May said the President had been "wrong" to retweet posts from far-right group Britain First - prompting the maverick Republican to say she should concentrate on tackling terrorism in the UK.
They were also at odds over America's decision to move its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.