Theresa May’s not-so-special relationship with Donald Trump plummeted to a new low following the president’s explosive comments criticising Britain’s Brexit strategy.
The US President offered a humiliating assessment of Mrs May’s soft Brexit proposal, just hours before the two leaders are set to face the world’s media.
Mr Trump undermined the Prime Minister’s Chequers plan on the next stage of Brexit by warning that a soft exit from the European Union will ‘kill’ any trade deal with the US.
President Trump added he would have done the Brexit negotiations “much differently” and claimed that Mrs May did not listen to his advice, in an interview with The Sun.
Mrs May learned about Mr Trump’s Brexit intervention during a lavish dinner at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, having rolled out the red carpet for the president.
With their strained relationship snowballing towards breaking point, Mrs May has been urged to stand up for Britain instead of being “bullied” by the president.
The stand-off has even drawn comparisons with frosty UK-US relations in festive romantic comedy Love Actually – minus Martine McCutcheon- in which the Prime Minister, played by Hugh Grant, stands up to the US President, played by the imposing Billy Bob Thornton.
“I fear that this has become a bad relationship,” the fictional PM says, accusing the president of “taking exactly what he wants”.
“A Love Actually moment at May/Trump presser would be a good way to end her nightmare week,” noted political correspondent Katy Balls on Twitter.
“If Theresa May delivers the Hugh Grant Love Actually speech to Donald Trump then I will actually consider voting for her,” commented another.
How the Love Actually scene played out
Reporter: "Mr. President, has it been a good visit?"
The President: "Very satisfactory indeed. We got what we came for, and our special relationship is still very special."
Mr Grant’s character then launches into an impassioned speech outlining what makes Britain so great – from Winston Churchill to David Beckham’s right foot.
Here’s how a similar scene between Mrs May and Mr Trump might look:
I love that word “relationship”. We once had a special relationship but now I fear it’s a not-so-special relationship, a relationship based on the President always holding my hand in public and casually ignoring all those things that really matter, like soft Brexit.
The country of Three Lions memes, Baddiel and Skinner, Croydon’s Box Park, Gareth Southgate, Danny Dyer, Harry Potter World. Kieran Trippier’s right foot. Kieran Trippier’s left foot, come to that.
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And a friend who bullies us is no longer a friend. And since bullies only respond to strength, from now onward I will be prepared to be much stronger. And the President should be prepared for that.
Speaking at Chequers today, Mr Trump said he and Mrs May had “probably never developed a better relationship” than during last night’s dinner at Blenheim.