What do U.S. Ambassador Robert “Woody” Johnson and Britain’s Queen Elizabeth have in common? Along with a likely love of their own versions of "football," the economic interests of each country, post-Brexit, hang in the balance.
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That’s likely why “Woody” may be getting the royal treatment.
The two are expected to have a rare private dinner on Thursday at Winfield House, the spectacular home the ambassador enjoys overlooking Regents Park, according to the Daily Mail. The mansion sits on 15 acres of prime real estate in the middle of London. Her Majesty has been there before, including a Thanksgiving bash in 1958 with then American Vice-President Richard Nixon. But at 92 years young, the queen doesn’t usually attend such soirees these days so you can be sure there’s an ulterior motive, namely Brexit and President Trump.
The queen is the longest-reigning British monarch and Johnson is the great-grandson of the founder of health care giant Johnson & Johnson and is best known in the U.S. as the owner of the NFL's New York Jets. While the two have different pedigrees, they'll have plenty to discuss.
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The British Parliament on Tuesday voted down Prime Minister Theresa May's revamped Brexit plan, making the looming separation even dicier.
With the U.K. edging ever closer to life outside the European Union and a new world of trade deals, it’s critical that negotiations begin as soon as possible, especially with the United States, Britain’s biggest trading partner outside of the European Union.
Earlier this month President Trump touted U.S.-U.K. trade relations saying after Brexit they will increase “very, very substantially,” as reported by FOX Business.
Nothing would help to cement that deal more than the red carpet being laid out for President Trump and the first lady as part of a no-holds barred state visit with a state banquet, lodging at Buckingham Palace and more pomp and circumstance than you can shake a royal scepter at.
While nothing has been confirmed, the state visit could happen by the summer and be timed just as post-Brexit negotiations over an expanded trade deal are reaching the final stages.
Sounds like a good plan, but don’t forget the Trumps were invited for a state visit by the queen two years ago, not long after they moved into the White House and they accepted only to decline over fears of widespread protests.
And make no mistake, there will be plenty of protests again, but Her Majesty understands that Britain’s economic future is on the line, America represents a vital ally and that is why it’s a lot more than just dinner at Woody’s.
FOX Business’ inquiries to the U.S. State Department on the reported dinner were not returned at the time of publication.