Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Friday July 13, 2018
Trump is Already Making Theresa May’s Life a Living Hell
Accompanied by a sprawling entourage that has reportedly booked 750 hotel rooms, and will be shuttled around the country by 30 vehicles, 6 helicopters, and 2 planes, Donald Trump has officially arrived in the U.K. “His planes are massive,” an awestruck former Downing Street aide remarked to The Times of London. “Ours look like Playmobil by comparison.” Team Trump will certainly be well-traveled by the time they depart to meet Vladimir Putin in Helsinki Monday. As he visits Theresa May’s countryside retreat, Chequers; attends a black-tie dinner at the birthplace of Winston Churchill, Blenheim Palace; and has tea with the Queen at Windsor Castle before heading to Scotland to play golf at Trump International Golf Links Scotland, the only mode of transport the president won’t get to enjoy is his long-sought-after ride down the Mall in a gold-plated carriage, which was apparently shelved due to the poor optics of mass protests.
Despite the fact that Trump’s schedule purposefully removes him from liberal London, and that protests—topped by a 20-foot-tall balloon depicting Trump as a smartphone-wielding baby—have reportedly been planned across the city, the president seems unconcerned about his ratings in Brexit Britain. “I think they like me a lot in the U.K., I think they agree with me on immigration,” he said at this week’s NATO summit, explaining that he had been reading up on Brexit, and surmised that May was not delivering the divorce deal the public had voted for. “The people voted to break it up, so I would imagine that’s what they’ll do,” he said. “But maybe they’re taking a little bit of a different route. So I don’t know if that’s what they voted for. I just want the people to be happy. They’re great people.”
For May, Trump’s metaphorical vote of no confidence could not come at a worse time. Just as the U.S. president touched down in England, bringing controversial connotations of nationalism and insularity to a divided U.K., freshly inaugurated Brexit secretary Dominic Raab presented the government’s long-awaited White Paper on Brexit, which expanded upon the “soft” Chequers compromise that pushed both Boris Johnson and Brexit secretary David Davis to depart May’s Cabinet. The response from Brexiteers was widely negative, and they were notably skeptical of a proposal they argued would keep the U.K. under the authority of the European court of justice. “It is a pale imitation of the paper prepared by David Davis, a bad deal for Britain. It is not something I would vote for, nor is it what the British people voted for,” complained backbench Brexit-monger Jacob Rees-Mogg, who has previously written about the inspiration Trump offers. (Continued: Vanity Fair)