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May: The special relationship will endure

US flag‘Theresa May promised to work with Donald Trump to bolster the “special relationship” between Britain and America, in spite of the disdain with which the Republican president-elect is viewed in Westminster. The prime minister said the two countries “are and will remain strong and close partners on trade, security and defence”. Asked by Sky News whether Mr Trump was fit to hold office given his comments about women and Muslims, she simply said she looked forward to working with him — a more conciliatory stance than that of German chancellor Angela Merkel. The new UK-US alliance begins on the shakiest of foundations, at a time when Britain is also reshaping its key relationship with Europe.’ – FT

Editorials

>Today:

>Yesterday: 

Forsyth: Tories spy a Brexit opportunity in the shock result

‘Another consequence of Trump’s victory is that TTIP — the proposed free-trade deal between the US and the EU — is dead. Trump will be far more of a hate figure in Europe than even George W. Bush was, making whatever deal is negotiated pretty much unsellable to European voters. On the campaign trail, Trump himself has been unremittingly hostile to complex multinational trade deals. By contrast, a post-Brexit US-UK deal might be simple enough for the Trump administration to negotiate and Congress to ratify. Trump’s election is a challenge to the security and unity of the West. But his enthusiasm for Brexit, in marked contrast to the Obama administration, does provide opportunity.’ – James Forsyth, The Spectator

>Today: Daniel Hannan’s column: The parallels between Brexit and Trumpery have been absurdly overdone

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: It’s Trumpxit – and a changed world. What America’s earthquake means for Brexit Britain and Europe’s security.

Trump promises unity

TRUMP Donald second presidential debate‘Donald Trump vowed to heal a stunned and divided America yesterday after his presidential election victory dealt a stinging rebuke to political establishments across the West. “The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer,” he told supporters in New York. “Now it’s time for America to bind the wounds.” A tearful Hillary Clinton urged her voters to accept the result of the ugliest and least predictable presidential campaign in memory. “We owe him an open mind and a chance to lead,” she said.’ – The Times (£)

Opinion

>Yesterday:

Military chiefs warn of risks to NATO and urge more defence spending

‘Military chiefs last night warned of the risk of war with Russia if Donald Trump abandoned Nato. The US president-elect has cast doubt on the coalition’s mutual defence pact and has told members to raise military spending. Three former British generals and an admiral said Britain and Europe should heed the warning or risk an unstoppable Russian invasion. Sir Michael Graydon, the former head of the RAF, said a Nato without the US would not be strong enough to defend Eastern Europe. ‘From a security point of view this may be the wake-up call Europe needs,’ he added.’ – Daily Mail

Finkelstein: Can the pollsters recover from this disaster?

Opinion Poll graphic‘It is still too early to be certain but it looks as if most pollsters underestimated the turnout of white working males, who leant heavily towards Trump. This is a similar error to the one made over Brexit. In the referendum people who usually cannot be bothered decided that they could be bothered. And the polls did not pick that up. It appears that the USC/LA Times poll did a better job of getting turnout right and, in particular, that it had the right proportion of non-college educated whites, with other pollsters having an overeducated sample. Why was this error made? Because it was a reasonable modelling assumption that, having not turned up in the past even when they said they would, these voters would behave as they always had. Reasonable but wrong.’ – Daniel Finkelstein, The Times (£)

>Yesterday: Rebecca Coulson’s column: America. Vast cars, vast variety and a vastly complex verdict.

Downing Street seeks to woo and reassure China

‘Theresa May last night called for a new “golden era of relations between the UK and China” as their Vice Premier Ma Kai flew into London. The PM and Chancellor will push the Chinese for a post-Brexit trade deal during the visit, claiming “the mutual benefits are clear.” The talks are aimed at boosting Beijing’s investment in the UK’s infrastructure. Chancellor Philip Hammond will today host the 8th UK-China Economic and Financial Dialogue as Downing Street try to underline that Brexit Britain is “open for business”. The move will be seen as a fresh attempt to reassure the Chinese after a rocky start to relations under Mrs May.’ – The Sun (£)

  • The Prime Minister welcomes £1.7 billion investment in London’s Docklands – FT

MPs urge the Government to hold a swift vote on Article 50

EU Exit brexit‘Theresa May is under growing pressure from pro-Brexit campaigners to press ahead swiftly with a House of Commons vote to trigger the Article 50 EU divorce clause, rather than wait for a Supreme Court ruling that may not come until January…Tory Eurosceptic MPs and the Leave Means Leave pressure group are now urging Mrs May to precipitate a showdown with pro-EU MPs. The move comes amid signs that some Labour and Tory MPs who campaigned for Remain in June’s referendum are wary about using a vote on activating Article 50 to achieve their main aim of forcing the government to show its negotiating hand. Julian Lewis, one Tory Eurosceptic, said an early vote on Article 50 would show if pro-EU MPs were “sincere” when they said they would not try to frustrate the will of the people: 52 per cent backed Brexit in June’s referendum.’ – FT

  • Pressure groups urge London-only visa – FT
  • MEPs consider a plan to let individual Brits keep EU citizenship – The Sun (£)
  • Erdogan threatens to open the floodgates – The Times (£)
  • Labour MPs head to Brussels, hoping to ‘shape the debate’ – The Guardian
  • The SNP demands the Government reveal its negotiation strategy – The Sun (£)
  • Davis offers to share some of his thinking – The Guardian

Hunt: We won’t budge on performance targets

‘Speaking at The King’s Fund Annual Meeting, in Central London, Mr Hunt said: “Although there are huge pressures and we are not hitting a number of very important access targets for A&E or the 18 week wait for elective care. “We are not going to budge on the importance of maintaining those standards across the NHS.” Earlier this month, a powerful group of MPs warned that poor performance in A&E has “become the norm” for some NHS trusts.’ – The Sun (£)

News in Brief

  • Students boycott ‘sexist’ University Challenge, but won’t tell Paxman why – The Times (£)
  • Seven killed in Croydon tram crash – The Sun (£)
  • Welsh couple discover their table lamp is worth £600,000 – Daily Mail
  • The Army is put on standby to fight flooding – FT
  • ‘Hound of Hounslow’ pleads guilty to market crash fraud – Daily Telegraph
  • Police catch Pentonville escapee – Daily Mail
  • Snow! – The Times (£)
  • Is the gig economy real? – FT

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