Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 17 August 2019

Donald Trump set for state visit to UK in June

The US President will coincide his visit with a D-Day landings commemoration

US President Donald Trump. AP 
US President Donald Trump. AP 

US President Donald Trump will make his first state visit to the UK in the first week of June, Bucking Palace confirmed on Tuesday.

The visit will coincide with an event to mark the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Portsmouth on June 5.

"The president and first lady will make a state visit to the UK on 3-5 June, as announced by Buckingham Palace this afternoon," a Downing Street spokesman said.

"President Trump will be a guest of Her Majesty The Queen during the visit, and will also have discussions with the prime minister in Downing Street."

Britain's prime minister Theresa May said the UK and US "do more together than any two nations in the world".

"The state visit is an opportunity to strengthen our already close relationship in areas such as trade, investment, security and defence, and to discuss how we can build on these ties in the years ahead," she said in a statement.

Mr Trump was invited for a formal trip when he was elected in 2016 by Mrs May but a date was not organised.

The president and his wife Melania visited the UK in July last year on an official two-day working trip, where he met Mrs May at her countryside house in Oxfordshire and Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle, outside London. He later travelled up to Scotland for a private visit to his Turnberry golf resort in Ayrshire.

However, a full state will see Mr Trump spend more time with the Queen in the UK capital, London. Heads of state are often treated to a carriage procession to Buckingham Palace and a banquet with the monarch.

The president’s last visit to the UK cost an estimated £17 million to police as thousands protested in London, Edinburgh and Turnberry. A four-metre-high inflatable balloon of Mr Trump was floated above Parliament.

Mr Trump sparked controversy at the time by saying that Mrs May’s Brexit proposals would “kill” off any chance of Britain striking a trade deal with the US in an interview with The Sun newspaper. He later accused the paper of fake news.

It is unclear whether Mr Trump would be permitted to give a speech to Parliament during the D-Day commemoration.

Speaker John Bercow, the arbiter of the House of Commons, has previously indicated he could block such an address during a state visit.

"We value our relationship with the United States, if a state visit takes place that is way beyond and above the pay grade of the Speaker," Mr Bercow said in 2017.

"However, as far as this place is concerned I feel very strongly that our opposition to racism and to sexism and our support for equality before the law and an independent judiciary are hugely important considerations in the House of Commons."

Reports of the visit led to anger on Twitter from some MPs from the opposition Labour Party.

David Lammy described the US commander-in-chief as “no friend of Britain”.

While another representative Stella Creasy called on protesters “to resurrect” their campaign of 2018.

Updated: April 23, 2019 06:12 PM

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