Trump’s state visit to Britain could be postponed to let ‘the heat die down’
There are unconfirmed reports that the date of the US president’s visit to Britain will be pushed back to the first week of October in hopes that the public outcry over his visit will “die down.”
Initially, it was thought he would come in June, but an official visit by King Felipe of Spain to the UK early that month is one indication that Trump’s visit has been delayed until the autumn.
“King Felipe VI, accompanied by Queen Letizia of Spain, has accepted an invitation from the Queen to pay a state visit to the United Kingdom from 6th to 8th June 2017,” an official statement from Buckingham Palace said.
A “senior government source” reportedly told the Sun that “Trump still really wants to come this year, but he wants the heat to die down a bit first.”
Trump was invited to the UK by Prime Minister Theresa May, who was the first foreign leader to meet the president after he came to office.
“The prime minister said she looks forward to welcoming him later this year,” a spokesperson for Downing Street said after the two leaders held a joint press conference.
According to Bernard Hogan-Howe, the Metropolitan Police commissioner, Trump was originally supposed to visit Britain in June.
The police chief also said that he expects a “lots of protests” because of the visit, which may require him to deploy “a few thousands of police officers.”
The British public has been divided over the state visit by Trump, owing to his controversial policies – specifically the temporary ban on immigration from Muslim-majority countries.
Scotland has been deemed a safe location for Trump's UK visit, presumably by somebody who's never done a late shift in Dundee.— Scot Squad Series 3 (@scotsquad) March 2, 2017
More than 1.8 million people signed a petition to prevent Donald Trump from making a state visit during which he will be hosted by the Queen.
The petition was debated in the British Parliament, where the government responded by saying that it “recognises the strong views expressed by the many signatories of this petition,” but does not support it.
The prospects of Donald Trump’s visit have also divided the political establishment at Westminster. John Bercow, the speaker of the House of Commons, said he is “strongly opposed” to Trump addressing the British Parliament.
“Before the imposition of the migrant ban, I would myself have been strongly opposed to an address by President Trump in Westminster Hall.
“After the imposition of the migrant ban I am even more strongly opposed to an address by President Trump in Westminster Hall,” Bercow said.
Bercow now faces a vote of no confidence over breaching the principle of neutrality, which may cost him his position as speaker.
At the same time, the government reaffirmed its resolve to invite Donald Trump for a state visit.
“I have formally issued that invitation to President Trump and that invitations stands,” Theresa May told a news conference in Dublin without announcing the particular dates of the visit.
Visiting the UK in early October will allow Trump to dodge criticism from British MPs, since Parliament will still be on break.