Thursday 22nd March, 2018
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Some changes might be in order for Trump’s U.K. state visit

Sheetal Sukhija - Thursday 12th October, 2017

WASHINGTON, U.S. - Earlier this year, after an invite by Queen Elizabeth II was delivered to U.S. Donald Trump by U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May, thousands of protesters marched to Westminster against the invitation. 

A petition boasting over 2 million signatures began doing the rounds and was widely circulated across the country.

Then, reports revealed that May had a conversation with Trump and a transcript of the conversation revealed that the U.S. President has pointed out the things he wants before he can plan the state visit.

Reports noted that Trump has refused to make the state visit to U.K. until May “fixes warm U.K. welcome.”

Trump reportedly told May that he will not make a state visit to the U.K. until he is guaranteed a "better reception.”

He said, “When I know I’m going to get a better reception, I’ll come and not before.”

As possibilities of protests breaking out against Trump’s visit increased, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, who has previously clashed with the U.S. President, said that the British government shouldn’t “roll out the red carpet” for Trump during his state visit.

Khan said, “At a time when the president of the U.S.A. has policies that many in our country disagree with, I am not sure it is appropriate for our government to roll out the red carpet.”

Weeks later, reports stated that the planned visit, that was to happen this year, had been pushed back until next year. 

Amid the confusion, reports also suggested that the President could try and “sneak into the country,” only warning the Government 24 hours in advance, following which anti-Trump campaigners have since then urged protesters to “be on standby” for street demonstrations.

On Wednesday, reports revealed that Trump’s state visit might have been downgraded and that he ”will not be guest of the Queen.”

According to reports, discussions of a scaled-back trip come amid increasing threats of mass protests by opponents of the President.

Trump is now expected to make a scaled-back trip to the U.K. early next year, which would see him missing out on meeting the Queen.

During the visit, Trump could be asked to open a new embassy in the U.K.

Reports also noted that the official invitation is traditionally reserved for a president’s second term in office.

Trump, however, received the honour in the first month of his new position.

Local reports also stated that Trump’s low-key planned visit would be a guest of the U.S. ambassador Woody Johnson rather than Buckingham Palace.

However, British and American officials have insisted that the full visit would still go ahead.

A Downing Street spokesperson said in a statement, “Our position on the state visit has not changed – an offer has been extended and President Trump has accepted. Exact dates for President Trump to visit have not yet been arranged.”

Meanwhile, a U.S. Embassy spokesperson said, “There are currently no plans for a working-level visit.”

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