ONE can’t help feeling that perhaps a sense of relief swept through the White House and Downing Street yesterday after US President Donald Trump’s cancelling of his planned visit to the UK next month, where he was expected to open the new US Embassy in London, an event that would have been nothing more than a joint political headache for both Mr Trump and Prime Minister Theresa May.

The inescapable fact is that both leaders rare under enormous political pressure at home and yet more negative headlines would undoubtedly have been the last thing either needed. Over the last few days Mr Trump has found himself once again at the centre of a political firestorm over his reported use of crude and racist language to describe Haiti, El Salvador and African countries.

Mr Trump surely also has an eye on this year’s US midterm elections in November. The unprecedented number of Republican retirements of late, which includes the sitting chairmen of eight different congressional committees, has made Democrats optimistic that they can regain control of the House of Representatives.

Faced with all of this, television news picture showing mass protests in the UK during his visit would have played badly amongst both political brokers in Washington’s corridors of power and ordinary American citizens

For Mrs May of course, a disastrous election last summer, coupled with tortuous Brexit negotiations, has left her vulnerable too. Yes, the US is the biggest single investor in the UK, and yes, the long-standing intelligence-sharing relationship between the two nations continues and is vital, even if not exactly flourishing right now. These are inescapable facts and will continue to play a crucial role in the so-called special relationship.

But there is also no getting away from the fact that as things stand that partnership is not what it was, with many of the problems stemming from Mrs May’s all too premature offer of a state visit later this year –which as things tsand will still go ahead – before Whitehall and Buckingham Palace had fully weighed up the true nature of the new US President.

Nearly a year after she became one of the first world leaders to fly to the US to hold hand’s with the newly inaugurated President Trump, the UK protests that would have accompanied his embassy visit next month would undoubtedly have been cause of some considerable embarrassment. UK Police working in diplomatic protection were already said to be bracing themselves for an intense period had Mr Trump’s visit gone ahead.

This too before the obvious challenge the Prime Minister would now have faced remaining civil to a loos- cannon president who has caused her considerable political grief of late both home and away. Not only has Mr Trump criticised the UK’s response to radical Islamist inspired terror attacks, and London Mayor Sadiq Khan, but also re-tweeted Islamophobic Britain First videos.

On the foreign policy front as well, the special relationship has recently consistently taken a bit of a hammering. Over the the past few months alone, the Iranian nuclear deal, the isolation of Qatar by Saudi Arabia and the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, have all been decisions in which the UK has largely sided with its European partners against Mr Trump’s position.

The bottom line here is that Mr Trump’s behaviour toward Britain is without precedent for a modern American leader and has made him an unpopular figure for many UK citizens.

Yes, things are just not what they used to be in the transatlantic friendship. Perhaps Mrs May would be better off right now making sure Brexit Britain had more of a special relationship with Europe.