Times/Herald video: Rick Scott and the British ambassador to the U.S.
Gov. Rick Scott met with the British Ambassador to the United States Wednesday to discuss ways the two economies can become better inter-connected. Already some 44,000 Floridians depend on U.K. investments for their jobs, said Ambassador Nigel Sheinwald, and Florida's exports to the U.K. totaled $1 billion in 2010.
A delegation from the U.K. will be heading to Florida next week to discuss potential partnerships with Florida's space industry. And Scott said he will be going to London at some point to meet with U.K. officials about future partnerships. No date for that trip was announced.
"I've traveled to the U.K. a lot in my life," Scott said. "It's a wonderful trip." Scott then noted that it's the "predecessor to our country."
At a brief press conference, the governor's staff did its best to highlight the regality of the moment of a visiting dignitary. Workers removed the furniture normally in the lobby of the governor's office and replaced it with flags of Florida and the United Kingdom. Advance staff taped markers to the carpet for Scott and Sheinwald so each knew where to stand, and workers erected a blue rope to keep the press at a comfortable distance. Sheinwald earlier in the day addressed the Florida Senate.
"We're delighted you'll be visiting with us," Sheinwald told Scott. "Our political leadership in the U.K. looks forward to welcoming you. And our business community will look forward to furthering those very, very strong links between the U.K. and Florida."
The last governor to take a trip to London, you might recall, was Gov. Charlie Crist. He stopped in London as part of a 12-day European trade mission in 2008, and took heat for running up $8,714.27 in room charges for four days in London and a minibar tab of $1,356.29 over the 12 days. He and his wife Carole also got an excellent photo with Prince Charles.