What’s Just Happened? – The Special Relationship

In the latest edition of What Just Happened?, The Linc’s Deputy News Editor Oliver Pridmore looks at the ‘special relationship’ between the US and the UK…

What’s just happened?

At the World Economic Conference (WEF) last week, President of the United States Donald Trump discredited claims that US-UK relations were strained.

At a joint press conference with UK Prime Minister Theresa May, Mr Trump told her: “I have great respect for everything you are doing, we love your country, I think it’s really great.”

Why were there rumours of a strained relationship?

Reports in The Sunday Times last weekend suggested that Mr Trump’s team had to be persuaded to allow a meeting between him and Mrs May at the WEF. Earlier in the year it was announced that Mr Trump had cancelled his visit to open the new U.S. embassy in London.

And last year, Mr Trump was rebuked by the UK Prime Minister for re-tweeting videos from the far-right organisation, Britain First. However, at WEF this week, Mr Trump said in an interview with ITV’s Piers Morgan that he was ‘prepared to apologize’ for re-tweeting the videos.

What is the World Economic Forum?

The World Economic Forum was founded in 1971 as a non-profit organisation committed to ‘improving the state of the world’.

Each year, the forum meets at the end of January in Davos, Switzerland, and a host of people from the world of politics, business and entertainment meet to discuss a set theme. The theme at this year’s meeting was, ‘Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World’.

What is the ‘special relationship’?

Prime Minister Theresa May and Donald Trump

The ‘special relationship’ has been re-affirmed at this year’s World Economic Forum. Photo: Number 10/Flickr.

The ‘special relationship’ was a phrase first coined by Sir Winston Churchill at a speech in America in 1946. He used the phrase to sum up the shared history, culture and language between Britain and the United States, a relationship that he believed was critical at the time for success in the Second World War and the maintaining of world peace after.

Since then, the term came into the spotlight in 2016 during the EU referendum when it appeared that the ‘special relationship’ was under threat as former president Barack Obama claimed the UK would go to the ‘back of the queue’ in trade deals if were to leave the EU.

Does the ‘special relationship’ matter for Lincoln?

Yes. Last year, Lincoln was named as one of 12 historic UK cities to be given a £1 million pound investment from the Discover England Fund to boost American tourism.

And, earlier this week, it was announced that Ben Coles, a student from The Priory Academy, had won a prestigious scholarship at Princeton University in the U.S. worth £285k.

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