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The pressing urgency of post-Brexit trade agreements is forcing the British government into a closer embrace of the Trump administration despite protests

The visits of U.S. presidents to Britain have often been accompanied by public protest. In 1982, when Ronald Reagan visited, tens of thousands of people gathered to protest against his nuclear policy. In 2003, thousands turned out against George W. Bush, reflecting strong public opposition to the war in Iraq, and the strategy of the U.S. President and then British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Still, the public outcry being seen since the extension of an invitation for a state visit to President Donald Trump is unprecedented. At the time of writing, nearly 1.8 million people — U.K. residents and citizens — had signed a petition calling for the state visit not to take place, while thousands took part in demonstrations across the country to oppose the visit, and stand against the travel bans and halting of the refugee programme brought in by the new President.

Britain’s close relationship with the U.S. is of course nothing new: as early as 1946 Winston Churchill used the phrase “special relationship” to describe the alliance between the U.S. and Britain that he hoped would ensure the “sure prevention of war” and the “continuous rise of world association”. This and European Union (EU) membership have been central to British foreign policy over the past few decades. Inevitably, as Britain embarks on the process of extricating itself from the EU, its relationship with the U.S. has gained more and more importance.

Brexit blowback
While Prime Minister Theresa May, in her recent speech that finally set out the contours of Brexit, pledged to be the “best friend and neighbour” to Europe, there’s little doubt that exiting will fundamentally change Britain’s relationship with the trading bloc, well beyond its access to the single market. A recent clip of Ms. May standing awkwardly by at an EU summit as other leaders chatted to each other animatedly went viral, symptomising to many the political isolation that she faces even before Britain has triggered exit talks.

Britain’s lack of success when it comes to forging relations elsewhere has added to the pressure. While it may be unsurprising that India has made it clear that a free trade agreement with the U.K. is unlikely to happen without a decisive loosening of Britain’s immigration policy, a similar signal has been sent by other countries such as Australia, which is also keen to ensure greater access for its workers to Britain.

In the immediate aftermath of the Brexit vote last year, there were concerns that exiting the EU would leave the U.K. a decisively less attractive partner for the U.S. This was certainly the impression given by former President Barack Obama who, in an intervention weeks before the referendum took place, warned that Britain would be at the “back of the queue” for any trade deal with the U.S. should it opt to leave the EU. By contrast, Mr. Trump expressed great admiration for Brexit, often dubbing himself ‘Mr. Brexit’ in the course of his electoral campaign. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the U.K. government was quick to welcome the new U.S. regime, with Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson criticising the global “whinge-o-rama” that accompanied Mr. Trump’s election.

IMPORTANT WORDS & THEIR MEANING FROM ARTICLE

Outcry (आर्तनाद) - Noun
  • Meaning - an exclamation or shout
  • Synonyms - clamor, ferment
  • Antonyms - acceptance, praise
  • Example - A loud outcry was raised in the fleet and the country.
Embarks (चढ़ना, शुरू करना) - Verb
  • Meaning - begin (a course of action)
  • Synonyms - commence, launch
  • Antonyms - cease, finish
  • Example - Neha has plans to embark on a new career as a journalist.
Extricating (समाधान करना) - Verb
  • Meaning - free (someone or something) from a constraint or difficulty
  • Synonyms - detach, rescue
  • Antonyms - connect, combine
  • Example - The little kitten did not know how to extricate himself from the string of tape.
Contours (रूप-रेखा) - Noun
  • Meaning - an outline representing or bounding the shape or form of something (Noun)
  • mould into a specific shape, especially one designed to fit into something else (Verb)
  • Synonyms - curve, figuration
  • Example - New sea ice is rough in contour and milky-white in colour.
Aftermath (परिणाम) - Noun
  • Meaning - the consequences or after-effects of a significant unpleasant event
  • Synonyms - residual, impact
  • Antonyms - cause, start
  • Example - Food prices soared in the aftermath of the drought.
Rescinded (विखण्डित) - Verb
  • Meaning - revoke, cancel, or repeal (a law, order, or agreement).
  • Synonyms - abolish, retract
  • Antonyms - allow, enforce
  • Example - He rescinded his marriage proposal!
Skewed (विषम) - Verb
  • Meaning - suddenly change direction or position
  • Synonyms - alter, twist
  • Antonyms - maintain, straighten
  • Example - The car had skewed across the track.
Cater (आवश्यकताएं पूरी करना) - Verb
  • Meaning - provide people with food and drink at a social event or other gathering
  • Synonyms - gratify, indulge
  • Antonyms - ignore, neglect
  • Example - We have to cater to fifty people in the party. 

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