June 4, 2019 4.26 pm This story is over 53 months old

Lincolnshire economy chief supports Donald Trump visit and trade promises

“Working in partnership with the Americans, not throwing brick bats at them”

The county’s economic chief has welcomed comments from US President Donald Trump hinting at a “very substantial trade deal” following Brexit.

Mr Trump is understood to have made the comments during a breakfast meeting at St James’ Palace earlier today.

He is reported to have told Prime Minister Theresa May: “I think we will have a very, very substantial trade deal.

“This is something you want to do and my folks want to do.”

Lincolnshire County Council’s economy executive councillor Councillor Colin Davie said: “It’s vitally important that our country and America, where hundreds of thousands of jobs are reliant on our strong relationship, needs to be strengthened further so we can create the opportunities of the future.

“We will do that by working in partnership with the Americans, not by throwing brick bats at them.”

The council is in discussions with counties on Florida’s East Coast in a bid to create a “formal economic partnership”, and it is hoped delegations will soon be visiting Lincolnshire similar to those recently from Hunan, in China.

Councillor Davie believes America, China and India are the “three major trading blocks in the world we have to work with.”

“I’m clear that by talking together and working together you can explore the opportunities of the future and that’s got to be good for business, investment, trade and ultimately for selling our products that support jobs here in Lincolnshire,” he said.

Councillor Davie did not think protests currently taking place in London would have any effect on President Trump.

“I don’t think Donald Trump cares about the protests, he’s pretty thick-skinned the way I look at it. Ultimately, protesting doesn’t achieve much in these big global relationships, if you want to confront someone’s behaviour as a country you have to be in the room around the table,” he said.

“You can change people’s minds by having a conversation with them and those standing in Trafalgar Square shouting and screaming about why he shouldn’t be here would be better off in the room discussing with the President why he’s wrong on some of the things they are concerned about.”

His views were echoed by council leader Martin Hill, who called on people to “separate the individual from the office” and “treat people with respect”.

“President Trump is the democratically elected leader of our largest ally and supporter so I do think it is right he is invited over and people should meet him.”

SUBSCRIBE TO LOCAL DEMOCRACY WEEKLY, our exclusive email newsletter with highlights from coverage every week, as well as insights and analysis from our local democracy reporters.