Ahead of her first meeting with President Trump, British Prime Minister Theresa May delivered a full-throated pro-America speech that explicitly declared common cause with U.S. conservatives and implicitly aligned with Trump-style populism.
Speaking at a retreat for Republican lawmakers in Philadelphia — where the “textbook of freedom was written” — May called for the renewal of the “special relationship” between the United Kingdom and the United States.
“I speak to you not just as prime minister of the United Kingdom, but as a fellow conservative who believes in the same principles that underpin the agenda of your party,” she said. “The value of liberty, the dignity of work, the principles of nationhood, family, economic prudence, patriotism and putting power in the hands of the people.”
May, who on Friday will become the first foreign leader to meet face-to-face with Trump since he took office, said the Republican victory in the 2016 election offers an opportunity to lead a “new era of American renewal” at home and abroad.
“President Trump’s victory, achieved in defiance of all the pundits and the polls, [is] rooted not in the corridors of Washington but in the hopes and aspirations of working men and women across this land,” she said.
It was a remarkable message from a leader who is not the most natural standard-bearer for the populist wave sweeping the Western world. May is a member of Parliament who advocated for remaining a member of the European Union in a referendum that badly split the Conservative Party.
But since becoming prime minister after the resignation of her predecessor, May has not wavered in her determination to guide her country’s divorce from the E.U. She told Republicans that her citizens “voted with determination and quiet resolve” to exit. She said her country now can achieve self-determination and sovereignty, while controlling its immigration policies, borders, and ability to interpret its own laws.
E.U. members cede much of that sovereignty as the price of admission to the economic and political union.
“We have the opportunity to reassert our belief in a confident, sovereign and global Britain, ready to build relationships with old friends and new allies, alike,” she said.
May seconded a prominent demand of Trump to reform the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Cold War alliance built to confront Soviet communism.
“You have said that it is time for others to step up, and I agree,” she said. “Sovereign counties cannot outsource their security, and prosperity to America, and they should not undermine the alliances that keep us strong by failing to step up and play their part. This is something Britain has always understood. It is why Britain is the only country in the G-20, other than yours, to meet its commitment to spend 2 percent of GDP on defense and to invest 20 percent of that in upgrading equipment.”
May urged America and Britain to maintain their shared leadership, “the relationship between us that has defined the world.”
But she also suggested that she agrees with Trump that getting bogged down in foreign wars is self-defeating.
Read Full Story At LifeZette