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May Says Trump's Victory Shows Voter Concerns Must Be Heard

May Says Trump's Victory Shows Voter Concerns Must Be Heard

Sunday, 13 November 2016 09:44 AM

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May will respond to Donald Trump’s U.S. election victory by telling supporters of economic liberalization and free trade that they have to listen to the concerns of those who think such forces have more downsides than benefits.

At the Mansion House in London on Monday evening, May will give her first major speech on foreign policy since taking office in July. It will also be her first analysis of Trump’s victory last week. According to extracts released by her office, she’ll argue that “change is in the air” and that it is the job of politicians to respond to voters who are unhappy with changes in society.

“These people -- often those on modest to low incomes living in rich countries like our own -- see their jobs being outsourced and wages undercut,” she’ll say. “They see their communities changing around them and don’t remember giving their permission.”

With voters worried about Trump -- a ComRes Ltd. poll found two-thirds of Britons thought his victory made the world a more dangerous place -- U.K. politicians are divided on how to respond. Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the opposition Labour Party, attacked him as a populist who needed to “grow up.” Nigel Farage, who as leader of the U.K. Independence Party was a chief advocate in the campaign to get Britain out of the European Union, on Saturday became the first British figure to meet Trump since the election. He tweeted a picture of the two of them standing together, and said he found the president-elect “relaxed and full of good ideas.”

Middle Course

May has tried to plot a middle course. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson skipped an emergency meeting of EU foreign ministers on Sunday to discuss the U.S. election. The prime minister will say that the concerns of voters are valid and deserve an answer.

“If we are to continue to make the case for liberalism and globalization, as we must, we must also face up to and respond to these concerns,” May will say. “If we believe, as I do, that liberalism and globalization continue to offer the best future for our world, we must deal with the downsides and show that we can make these twin forces work for everyone.”

In a leaked memo reprinted by the Sunday Times, Kim Darroch, Britain’s ambassador to the U.S., suggested that Trump might be “open to outside influence if pitched right.” He said that because his embassy had “built better relationships with his team than have the rest of the Washington diplomatic corps, we should be well-placed to do this.”

Of immediate concern to Britain and the rest of the EU is Trump’s suggestions during his campaign that he had a cooler view of the NATO alliance and would look to improve relations with Russia. Jens Stoltenberg, the secretary general of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, urged the U.S. against “going it alone.”

But Corbyn in this area called for a better relationship with Russia. “There has to be a process that we try and demilitarize the border between what are now the NATO states and Russia,” he said on the “Andrew Marr Show” on the BBC. “So that we drive apart those forces. Keep them further apart in order to bring about some kind of accommodation. We can’t descend into a new Cold War.”

 

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U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May will respond to Donald Trump's U.S. election victory by telling supporters of economic liberalization and free trade that they have to listen to the concerns of those who think such forces have more downsides than benefits.At the Mansion...
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Sunday, 13 November 2016 09:44 AM
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