By Michael Aron
Chief Political Correspondent
This will be the governor’s third foreign trip since his reelection and the first outside North America.
In September he visited Mexico and met with President Enrique Pena Nieto.
In December he went to Canada, where he met with President Stephen Harper.
He’ll arrive in London Sunday morning and begin a three-day round of meetings, social get-togethers and cultural activities. Inlcuding the Arsenal- Aston Villa soccer match Sunday afternoon.
Officially, these are trade missions, but a second purpose is to broaden the governor’s understanding of foreign affairs as he prepares to run for president.
Christie ally Dale Florio agrees.
“The next election in 2016 for President is going to be about foreign affairs and how it’s handled. I think we’ve entered a new period in our society where people care about safety and that means we have to know people in other countries to make sure that we can provide safety not only in New Jersey but in this country. So to the extent the governor is looking beyond the state for 2016, it’s a smart bet for him,” Florio said.
Christie will definitely meet with members of Prime Minister David Cameron’s cabinet.
Christie’s office is being circumspect about a meeting with the Prime Minister himself, although it’s hard to imagine the Conservative Party PM snubbing a possible Republican presidential nominee.
A visit to Parliament is another likely stop on the Christie tour.
A visit with the queen, however, is not on the agenda.
The area around Cambridge University is home to many life sciences businesses, and that will be a focus as New Jersey bio-health executives meet some of their British counterparts.
Members of New Jersey’s financial sector will also be seeking to drum up business with the British.
“At the end of the day, it’s always about relationships and this governor is a great communicator and there’s no doubt he’ll come back with some good relationships that’ll be not only good for New Jersey but potentially for his future ambitions,” Florio said.
Christie’s delegation will wrap up business Tuesday and fly home Wednesday.