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7 Feb, 2017 13:37

‘Bercow's Trump ban: Slap in face for US president & UK govt’

‘Bercow's Trump ban: Slap in face for US president & UK govt’

The proposal by the Speaker of the UK Parliament to ban President Trump from addressing the House is a slap in the face to the president and the British government trying to bring America on side, political commentator Adam Garrie told RT.

On Monday, the Speaker of the UK House of Commons John Bercow denounced Donald Trump's policies and said the US president should be barred from addressing Parliament during his state visit.

A number of politicians objected to Bercow’s proposal, and some Tory MPs are suggesting forcing a vote of no confidence in the Speaker.

RT: This follows Prime Minister Theresa May's visit to the White House. How do you expect her to handle this situation?

Adam Garrie: We haven’t seen a Speaker of the House of Commons act as though he had so much power since the English Civil War. Now Theresa May is many things, but she is not [Oliver] Cromwell, nor is she King Charles I. I think she might do what she has done with many internal parliamentary crises and indeed with the crisis in her own party.

I think she will let events more or less take care of themselves. She’ll let the issue die down in Parliament. Trump will have a state visit – there is no doubt about that. But in terms of Parliament he may be invited to speak to a group of parliamentarians, some sort of sub-committee, some sort of special interest. He’ll speak to the parliamentarians that want to hear him. It will be a formal invite to Parliament in all but name. So Bercow, the little man had his little moment today. But on the whole, I don’t think it is going to generally change the trajectory of Trump’s British visit.     

RT: Judging by the applause, plenty of MPs seem to agree with Speaker Bercow. How embarrassing is this for the British government?

AG: Of course applauding in the House of Commons is unparliamentary behavior, but standards have slipped rather badly since Tony Blair’s premiership. It is embarrassing when the President of the US, one of Britain’s closest allies, perhaps soon her only ally after Britain continues to incur the wrath of countries in the Middle East and now the EU.

So it is a slap in the face to the British government that is trying its hardest to bring America on side. And it is a slap in the face to the President of the US. There is going to need to be a lot of behind the scenes damage control. A lot of members of the Conservative Party have wanted to get rid of Bercow for years. He, of course, started out on the right wing, someone would say far right wing of the Conservative Party, and he has drifted ever more to the left that now we have Liberal and Labour members of Parliament cheering him as though it is some wrestling match in the House of Commons, whilst the Tory members are sitting on their hands. So quite a political transformation indeed.

RT: Theresa May and Donald Trump talked about renewing the special relationship. Is that really going to happen or is it just empty talk?

AG: It is necessary if Britain is going to have trade relations after leaving the EU. In the US one does have a senior partner, but one also has a country with similar business practices. Many of the same companies with important assets in both countries, similar judicial system, similar way of doing things. Now they are divided by the same unparliamentary language, by people like Bercow and his supporters who generally are on the left. There used to be an expression batted about Britain punching above her weight. I think today Bercow punched below the belt, not that he would know much about having a great deal of substance in that particular area.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.