(CNSNews.com) – British Prime Minister Theresa Day referred to President Donald Trump’s election as ‘dawn break[ing] on a new era of American renewal,” adding that “a newly emboldened, confident America is good for the world.”
May, who will be the first head of state to visit the new president at the White House on Friday, made the remarks Thursday at the Republican Party’s Congress of Tomorrow Conference in Philadelphia, conjuring up images of the close partnership between former President Ronald Reagan and former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
“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,” May told GOP leaders attending the conference.
“President Trump’s victory [was] achieved in defiance of all the pundits and the polls – and rooted not in the corridors of Washington, but in the hopes and aspirations of working men and women across this land,” May continued. “Your party’s victory in both the Congress [House] and the Senate where you swept all before you, secured with great effort, and achieved an important message of national renewal.”
Trump’s predecessor, former President Barack Obama, had a strained relationship with the U.K. ever since he removed a bust of Winston Churchill from the Oval Office in 2009, a move that was highly criticized as a snub of one of America’s closest allies.
Trump has reinstalled the Churchill bust.
Obama also gave Queen Elizabeth an iPod containing photos and audio files of his inauguration and speeches as a U.S. senator. His final snub was calling German Chancellor Angela Merkel his “closest international partner these last eight years.”
May went on to say that with the Brexit vote, the British people decided to “take back control of the things that matter to us – things like our national borders and immigration policy, and the way we decide and interpret our own laws – so that we are able to shape a better, more prosperous future for the working men and women of Britain.”
But she added that Britain will always be mindful of its responsibilities in the world, invoking the “special relationship” the U.K. has always had with its former colony “to stand strong together to defend our values, our interests, and the very ideas in which we believe.”
“So as we rediscover our confidence together – as you renew your nation just as we renew ours – we have the opportunity – indeed the responsibility – to renew the special relationship for this new age. We have the opportunity to lead, together, again” on matters ranging from the security of Israel, Russian aggression, the economic might of China, and Islamic extremism, May said.
She also emphasized the necessity of maintaining the NATO Alliance, which Trump has called “obsolete”, although she endorsed his idea that NATO members must follow Britain’s lead and pay more for their own defense.
“America’s leadership in NATO – supported by Britain – must be the central element around which the Alliance is built,” May said, adding that other European Union nations “must similarly step up to ensure this institution that provides the cornerstone of the West’s defense continues to be as effective as it can be.”
“Yet the most important institution is – and always should be – the nation state,” she added, which “forms the basis of the international partnerships and cooperation that bring stability to our world.”
Noting that the Trump administration has signaled that a new UK/US Free Trade Agreement between the two countries is “one of its earliest priorities,” May pointed out that “the UK is already America’s fifth largest export destination, while your markets account for almost a fifth of global exports from our shores.”
“Such an agreement would see us taking that next step in the special relationship that exists between us,” May told lawmakers, “cementing and affirming one of the greatest forces for progress this world has ever known.”