The United Kingdom and United States: a special, but difficult relationship

Protesters at Whitehall. Credits: Natasha Quarmby/REX/Shutterstock

London – by Chiara Fiorillo

After only 10 days at the White House in Washington, Donald Trump, the 45th president of United States of America, has raised a lot of controversies around himself and his policy-making. These led to a big discussion not only in America, but all over the world. His latest policies, indeed, have revolutionised a lot of aspects Barack Obama had worked for many years on: from the economy to the environment, from health to immigration.

Trump, indeed, has created a ban, forbidding people from Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Sudan to enter America. This ban has now a validity of 90 days, but it may be prolonged for even more. This decision has soon created outrage among the population and many have protested in all parts of the world against it.

The UK, in particular, also following Theresa May’s visit to president Trump in Washington, has reacted strongly to the new policy he has imposed. Almost two million citizens, as well as politicians such as Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour Party, and Sadiq Khan, mayor of London, signed a petition asking the government to prevent Donald Trump from visiting the country if he does not cancel the ban. Since, in the UK, once a petition hits more than 100.000 signatures it is considered for discussion in parliament, the MPs are getting ready to debate it next 20th February in the House of Commons.

Despite this, Theresa May has declared that she wants to keep that “Special Relationship” between the United Kingdom and the United States of America, which has existed since Winston Churchill was Prime Minister.

Yesterday night, 30th January 2017, thousands of people gathered in Whitehall to march against the ban imposed by Trump and against his visit to the UK. The protesters marched in front of Downing Street, where the office of the Prime Minister is. Among the main signs they carried, some are worth looking at: “Dump Trump”, “God Save The Queen”, “Oi! May? Trump? No way!”, “Special Relationship? I want a divorce”, “This is only day 10 of 1460”, “Build love, not walls”.

Despite the hard situation, some people in Westminster say they believe the relationship between May and Trump may be a successful one. In the meantime, Trump has fired Sally Yates, the American attorney general, after she said that the ban the president imposed is unlawful. This, however, seems only the beginning of a sequence of events which will make the world discuss a lot. The centre of the debate is now the relationship between the United Kingdom and the United States of America: will it still be special or will it become more difficult?