Theresa May flies to the States today for her date with Donald Trump .

The Prime Minister will meet leading Republicans in Philadelphia this evening before her audience with the President in Washington DC tomorrow.

There were hopes that once in office Trump would somehow be constrained by the dignity of the post. That he would ditch his bombastic campaign pledges for a more inclusive policy agenda. We are now discovering that his words, terrifying as they are, should be taken literally. In his first few days he has re-authorised the use of torture, withdrawn funding for tackling climate change, limited abortion rights, cut overseas aid and pledged to build that wall .

 

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Mrs May may be wondering if it was worth the effort jostling to the front of the queue of world leaders seeking a meeting with the new President.

The Prime Minister had hoped to use the bilateral to make a post-Brexit sales pitch for a new trade deal with the US and underline the importance of the two countries’ security and defence partnership. Now she faces having to confront Trump over torture and women’s rights or risk looking like a prop for a President trying to prove he is not a global pariah.

It is difficult to imagine two more disparate characters than the prim vicar’s daughter from the Home Counties and the brash, billionaire tycoon from New York.

The test for Mrs May is whether she is willing to carry out her promise to speak frankly with the President or lend a respectability to man who is behaving disrespectfully.  The Conservative MP Sarah Wollaston made clear what she expects of the PM when she tweeted this morning: “You cannot lead on a global stage by advocating torture, disgusting racial stereotyping & turning back the clock on women’s rights worldwide.”

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The Commons kicks off today with questions to Brexit Secretary David Davis.

We are expecting to learn the exact wording of the Bill triggering Article 50 and, in Business Questions later, the Government’s timetable for getting the legislation through the House of Commons .

Under questioning from Labour MPs on Tuesday, Davis revealed how complicated the next few years will be.

At one point, in answer to Yvette Cooper, he suggested Parliament could have several chances to vote on various aspects of the deal, including our membership of the customs union.