Donald Trump’s state visit to the UK has been postponed, as the President does not want to visit amidst protests – but rather when the British people would welcome him.
While a date was never set for visit, it was thought to be scheduled for October, the traditional time for an autumnal visit, and May had said it would take place ‘this year’.
Theresa May extended an invitation to Mr Trump just a week after he was inaugurated as President, the quickest invite for a State visit to the UK in history.
Now, however, the visit – which usually strengthens bonds between countries and highlights ongoing projects and work – will only happen when Brits want him to come. The Guardian reports Trump told Mrs May this during a recent phone call, and the statement took the Prime Minister by surprise.
A Downing Street spokeswoman said it would not comment. “We aren’t going to comment on speculation about the contents of private phone conversations. The Queen extended an invitation to President Trump to visit the UK and there is no change to those plans.”
The White House, however, denied the conversation happened: “The President has tremendous respect for Prime Minister May. That subject never came up on the call.”
Once an invite has been extended, it cannot be taken back, and so this means the American president must visit at some point in the near future. He would be entitled to a spectacular arrival at Horse Guards Parade in a State Carriage, complete with massed military bands, both the US and UK flag flying on the Mall and a State Banquet in their honour.
Leader of the opposition, Jeremy Corbyn welcomed the news: “Cancellation of President Trump’s State Visit is welcome, especially after his attack on London’s mayor & withdrawal from
Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, said Britain should not “roll out the red carpet” for the President in light of his manipulated tweets following the London Bridge attack.
Lib Dem leader Tim Farron said Mr Trump was ‘clearly terrified of the British public’. “He knows that the British people find his politics appalling and that they won’t be scared to make their views known.
“Theresa May should be embarrassed that she was so quick to offer Trump a state visit. Now neither of them want to be seen with the other.”
Tensions have been heightened between the UK and US after the President pulled out of the Paris agreement on climate change; this makes America only the second country in the world to not be participating in combatting global warming, alongside . some states have been bypassing Trump’s withdrawal, committing themselves to the aims of the agreement. California has made a pact to work with Germany to achieve this.
Prince Charles traditionally meets with incoming Heads of State, which could prove awkward in light of the Prince’s continued conservation and climate change work.
Note; this article previously stated the Spanish State Visit begins today, but it begins 12th July.