British Prime Minister Theresa May is set to call for a renewal of the “special relationship” with the United States, as Britain prepares to leave the European Union and President Donald Trump begins his term as the U.S. leader.
May is traveling Thursday to Philadelphia ahead of a visit to the White House on Friday. She will be the first foreign leader to meet with Trump in Washington since he took office.
May is scheduled to speak Thursday at a retreat for Republican members of Congress, where according to prepared remarks she will highlight the history of a relationship she says “made the modern world.” Trump and Vice President Mike Pence will also attend the retreat Thursday.
“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,” May will say, according excerpts of her prepared remarks.
Both leaders have taken steps to reform their international relations, particularly through trade. Britain’s exit from the EU and Trump’s withdraw from the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership will necessitate negotiating new trade agreements throughout the world.
May’s plan for the EU exit includes placing a priority on controlling immigration, though she has not yet announced the proposed policy in detail.
Her visit comes as Trump signed an executive order to construct a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border and prepared another instituting a freeze on admitting refugees and an entry ban for people from a group of seven Muslim-majority nations in the Middle East and Africa.