Theresa May has pledged to put the United Kingdom first in any future free trade deal struck with the United States, ahead of her meeting with Donald Trump on Friday.
The British prime minister told the House of Commons on Wednesday she was “not afraid to speak frankly” to President Trump after he pledged to put “America first” in any international deals.
Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the Labour Party, warned any trade UK-US trade deal must not “offer up for sacrifice” the National Health Service or British public services to American companies.
May said told MPs: “We will be looking for a US-U.K. trade deal that improves trade between our two countries, that will bring prosperity and growth to this country, that will ensure that we can bring jobs to this country as well. In doing that, we will put UK interests and UK values first.
“I am pleased that I am able to meet President Trump so early in his Administration. That is a sign of the strength of the special relationship between the United Kingdom and the United States of America—a special relationship on which he and I intend to build.
“I am not afraid to speak frankly to a President of the United States; I am able to do that because we have that special relationship.”
On Saturday, thousands of Britons took part in a march in central-London, alongside similar protests in the US and worldwide, to demonstrate against Trump’s attitude towards women.
Corbyn told May today: “We would never allow Britain to be sold off on the cheap. How confident is the prime minister of getting a good deal for “global Britain” from a President who says he wants to put America first, buy American and build a wall between his country and Mexico?
“Will the Prime Minister also take this opportunity today to congratulate the 100,000 people who marched in Britain last weekend to highlight women’s rights after President Trump’s inauguration, and to express their concerns about his misogyny?”
May travels to the US tomorrow and will be the first foreign leader to meet President Trump following his inauguration last week. The UK government is keen to maintain strong links to the US - especially in the wake of the Brexit vote.
May also told MPs on Wednesday she hopes President Trump will honour the Paris Agreement, signed by his predecessor President Obama.
Trump has pledged to withdraw from the agreement, which is the world’s first comprehensive treaty to tackle greenhouse gases.
But former Labour Leader Ed Miliband asked the PM to reassure MPs “she will say to the President that he must abide by and not withdraw from the Paris climate change treaty”.
“I would hope that all parties would continue to ensure that that climate change agreement is put into practice”, May said in response.