British Prime Minister Theresa May is said to travel to the G20 summit in China today (3 September). This will be her first international conference since she entered Downing Street in July.
She has reportedly been given a key speaking slot on Sunday (4 September) where she will talk about the global economy. In her talk she is expected to say that the UK continues to be “consistent and dependable” following the Brexit vote.
An unnamed source cited by the Independent said, that May would tell world leaders attending the summit that the UK is “open for business and wanting a smooth and orderly departure”. She is also expected to talk about the UK’s view of the referendum vote and how it is preparing for the Brexit talks with the European Union (EU).
G20 Hangzhou summit 2016 Many of the key personnel that are attending the summit in the Chinese city of Hangzhou are said to have supported the Remain campaign. A UK official, however, said that this would not affect much as “many of those that set out their views also respected the will of the democratic will of the British people.”
The official added that the decision had been taken and what mattered was the future. “In that sense the Prime Minister will want to look at how we look to the future and now start planning for those relationships once the UK has left the European Union,” the official said.
May is also expected to have one-to-one meetings with US President Barack Obama and the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. She is said to informally discuss with both of them, UK’s future trading relationship with their respective countries. This follows Obama warning the UK before the referendum vote that the country will be at the “back of the queue” for trade talks if it decides to leave the EU.
The British Prime Minister will also have a face-to-face meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping. While the Chinese ambassador in the UK recently warned that the relationship between China and the UK were at “crucial historical juncture” amid the delay of the Hinkley point project, the UK official insisted that Xi Jinping’s government was not expecting a decision on this anytime soon. The official also played down the importance of this issue by saying that the UK is not “defined solely by one energy project.”
Russian leader Vladimir Putin is also expected to have a face-to-face meeting with May. With regards to what this meeting could be about, the UK official said “The Prime Minister’s view is that we should approach this in a hard-headed way, recognising that is in the interests of the UK to seek to work with Russia on issues around security that can affect people here at home, but recognising the many issues where we would disagree in the relationship.”
Apart from these, May is said to discuss at the summit the issue of curbing financing of extremist groups and advancing free trade.