Should we allow Donald Trump an early state visit?
The answer has to be a reluctant yes.
Regardless of the loathing felt for this new President, and I count myself among the loathers, there is no doubt that strong, lasting trade relations between the UK and USA would be welcome, and needed, as soon as possible.
If only for one very important reason.
As a former business-to-business editor, contacts in Europe tell me that a growing number in the EU are dissatisfied.
Presently they are sitting on the fence, waiting to see how Brexit affects the UK before jumping ship.
When and if they do, those countries will be seeking trade relations with the USA.
If Trump is as good as his word, albeit that he bends with the wind, the UK will already be there and established.
Frankly, I would rather our trade relations were with the USA than with Europe.
In business circles it is no secret that the UK has never been fully acceptable in the eyes and minds of some Europeans.
Some years ago a colleague and I were invited to attend an important trade conference in Milan.
The opening took place in a large hall, packed with delegates from all over Europe.
On the wall behind the platform was a large relief map representing Europe and the countries of the EU.
There was one glaring and pointed omission.
The UK was not on the map.
Europe ended at the shores of France and Spain; beyond those shores were the Atlantic and the eastern seaboard of America!
When I pointed this out to the conference president, I was rebuffed with “Does it matter?” and “It is too late to change it now.”
So much for integration, friendship and loving relationships.
M J Robberts,