Donald Trump expects a trade deal with the UK to be completed “very, very quickly”, he has said, and has confirmed that he “will be going to London”.
The US president spoke of the “very special relationship” he has developed with Theresa May and said they had been working on a ‘very big’ and ‘very powerful’ deal.
As the two leaders met on the margins of the G20, Mr Trump said: “There is no country that could possibly be closer than our countries.”
He said: “We have been working on a trade deal which will be a very, very big deal, a very powerful deal, great for both countries and I think we will have that done very, very quickly.”
He added: “Prime Minister May and I have developed a very special relationship and I think trade will be a very big factor between our two countries.”
Mr Trump said he “will be going to London”. Asked when, he replied: “We’ll work that out.”
A state visit by the US president has been the subject of great controversy, with some suggesting the invitation should never have been made so soon and others saying Mr Trump should be banned from the UK because of certain policies or comments.
Mr Trump’s comments came as Theresa May was set to tell leaders they are not doing enough to tackle modern slavery and radical action is needed to stamp out the “vile” crime.
The PM was due to urge the G20 to work together to meet the United Nations’ target of wiping out the crime by 2030.
Ahead of the discussions, Mrs May said: “This is the great human rights issue of our time.
“Tackling human trafficking and modern slavery remains a top priority for this government and we are committed to stamping out this abhorrent crime.
“In the UK we have set up the first ever government taskforce for modern slavery, bringing together every relevant department to co-ordinate and drive all our efforts in the battle against this cruel exploitation.
“But if we are to eradicate modern slavery around the world, we need to go much further.
“Victims will only find freedom if we cultivate a radically new, global and coordinated approach to defeat this vile crime.
“And that is why today at the G20 summit I am calling on the international community to follow Britain’s lead in prioritising action in this area, in particular in supply chains.”