LONDON (Reuters) - Prime Minister Theresa May will brief other European Union leaders on Friday about her visit to meet U.S. President Donald Trump, including a reminder that EU states need to deliver on their NATO commitments to defence spending.
May’s embrace of Trump has galled Britain’s closest European Union allies, who fear London is tilting too heavily towards the new U.S. administration ahead of Brexit.
May will attend part of an informal summit of EU leaders in Malta which is officially scheduled to discuss migration into the bloc from countries like Libya. Britain’s exit from the EU is not on the agenda.
May’s office said she would use the summit as a chance to talk about her meeting with Trump in Washington last week, where she became the first foreign leader to visit the White House since his inauguration.
Her presentation will balance the assurances she received from Trump on his support for NATO - a military alliance he has previously described as obsolete - with a warning to EU leaders that they must raise their defence spending. Her arguments will echo the rationale behind Trump’s criticism.
In a letter to EU leaders ahead of the summit, European Council President Donald Tusk said Trump has joined Russia, China and radical Islam as a threat to the EU.
Reporting by William James; editing by Stephen Addison