Deals Trump Ethics

It’s a busy life being Donald Trump. One minute, you’re walking hand-in-hand with Theresa May — the next you’re banning people from half-a-dozen countries because there are too many Muslims there.

Not a single American has been killed in a single terror attack in the US by a single citizen of those countries in the past 40 years — but if we’ve learned anything in the past week it’s that facts are optional in the Trump White House.

Yet as international condemnation of Trump’s blanket ban grew ever louder, Theresa May appeared to have developed the occasional deafness that afflicts her in the vicinity of a difficult question.

After initially dismissing one of the most shocking announcements in recent times as solely a matter for the US, eventually the mildest imaginable criticism of the ban was dragged out of Downing Street just before midnight.

But Trump’s increasingly authoritarian pronouncements haven’t shifted the view in Downing Street that a post-Brexit Britain needs to keep America on-side, no matter how crazed its leader may be.

Ethics aside, that could turn out to be a horrible political miscalculation.

Donald Trump is about as popular as botulism in Britain, and some voters may feel their stomachs turn as their Prime Minister cosies up to him.

Mrs May’s also offered Trump a state visit — an ideal opportunity for crowds to demonstrate their displeasure at America’s rabble-rouser in chief.

Roping the Queen into a series of gilt-edged functions, purely for the benefit of a man who has more than enough gold in his life, could also backfire with voters, who may sympathise with Jeremy Corbyn’s call to cancel the visit.

Already the Defence Secretary has described Trump’s stance on torture as a “difference of opinion and nuance” — a curious way to explain away a fondness for waterboarding. 

The Special Relationship has always been a lot more special to Britain than it ever was to America. 

The Prime Minister feels she’s securing vital trade deals for a post-EU future — but the price could be higher than many voters are willing to pay.