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U.K. plans a show of special forces, black-tie dinner for Trump

President Donald Trump will watch a demonstration of how British and U.S. special forces would jointly tackle a terrorist attack during his visit to the U.K., as Prime Minister Theresa May seeks to reinforce the idea of a special military alliance between the two countries.

Trump arrives Thursday after a NATO summit in which he suggested other Western nations double their arms budgets to 4 percent of gross domestic product. After leaving the U.K., Trump will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki — with whom Britain has a strained relationship following the poisoning of a double agent and subsequent murder of a civilian who later ingested the same nerve agent.

By virtue of NATO leaders being sat in alphabetical order of their countries, Trump and May — who have also had an awkward relationship — spent over three hours sitting next to each other during a meeting and dinner at the summit in Brussels on Wednesday. At the meal, May said she welcomes Trump’s meeting with Putin, as communication between the U.S. and Russia is “key to managing the risks of confrontation.”

When he arrives, Trump will be taken to Blenheim Palace, the 300-year-old birthplace of World War II leader Winston Churchill. Tuxedo-clad government ministers and representatives of fund managers BlackRock Inc and Blackstone Group LP, as well as Arup Ltd and drinks manufacturer Diageo Plc, will join him for a dinner of Scottish salmon, beef and strawberries and clotted cream ice-cream to discuss post-Brexit trade.

On Friday, Trump will meet May and her newly-appointed Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt at the prime minister’s countryside retreat, Chequers. Over Dover sole, lamb and lemon meringue pie, the leaders will discuss Russia, trade, Brexit and the Middle East.        Continue Reading