President Trump, after appearing to severely criticize British PM Theresa May in an interview, has made a 180 degree turn, heaping effusive praise on her. He also stated that he looks forward to doing a big trade deal with her.
During a press conference after meeting with her, Trump said, “I read reports where that [a super trade deal with UK] won’t be possible, but I believe after speaking with the prime minister’s people and representatives and trade experts it will absolutely be possible”.
As politics go, that looks like a good end to a bad week for Mrs May. Trump is a deal-maker before many other things. So, we won’t be surprised if he extracted some concessions from Mrs May and her team behind closed doors.
Trump can be expected to come out swinging wildly against Theresa May if she steps back from any such concessions. Equally, if she sides with the EU-Canada in the current tarrif wars, expect Trump to quickly play up the Boris Johnson option.
Deal maker Trump is likely to soften with an extra layer of soft on world leaders who agree to do his bidding, but swing out widely against those that oppose his bidding.
When Kim Jong Un of North Korea met Trump, he agreed in principle to denuclearize. Trump then came out with effusive praise for him.
If Kim doesn’t follow up, Trump isn’t likely to waste any time in lambasting him on Twitter and beyond.
Trump seems to see the world as his court, and leaders as his courtiers.
Trump wants a BREXIT that shows British strength even at the expense of foundations of abiding cooperation between Britain and the EU. In fact, Trump prefers a Britain that would lean ever more dependently on the US after BREXIT.
Theresa May has been boxed into a corner by the hard-hitting EU officials. She does not have much choice but to follow the dictates of Trump in one or more places.
The alternative might be a poorer, more isolated Britain outside the EU. Or a Britain that suffers the humiliation of returning to the EU, with humiliating conditions of return possibly attached.