NEWS

Donald Trump UK State Visit: US President 'Will Be Going To London'

'There is no country that could possibly be closer than our countries.'

08/07/2017 10:58

Donald Trump has said he expects a trade deal with the UK to be completed “very, very quickly” and that he will be coming to London.

The US president hailed the “very special relationship” he had developed with Theresa May as the pair met for talks on the margins of the G20.

Trump said he expected an agreement on new trading arrangements with Britain that was “very powerful” and would be great for both countries, reports the Press Association.

Trump said: “There is no country that could possibly be closer than our countries.

“We have been working on a trade deal which will be a very, very big deal, a very powerful deal, great for both countries and I think we will have that done very, very quickly.”

He added: “Prime Minister May and I have developed a very special relationship and I think trade will be a very big factor between our two countries.”

Trump said he “will be going to London”. Asked when, he replied: “We’ll work that out.”

The US President’s statement will be welcome news for the embattled PM as she seeks to reassure the public that she can still negotiate favourable post-Brexit terms despite her humiliating General Election result.

But news of Trump’s reaffirmed intention to visit the UK may not go down so well.

A planned state visit was previously was quietly scrapped last month amid fears over protests and a petition signed by nearly two million people.

Instead it was reported he would be much more likely to make a last-minute drop-in with less than 24 hours notice in an effort to scupper the planning of demonstrations.

A government source said: “We expect him to go to his golf course. We are aware he might want to see the prime minister. [The Americans] haven’t requested that he comes and we haven’t invited him, but we are aware it might happen.”

 

Some protestors had even planned to ‘moon’ the president en masse, as part of a campaign called ‘Show your rump to Trump’.

May, who handed over the original invitation when she became the first foreign leader to visit the Trump White House in January, is herself now the target of demonstrations after she lost her Commons majority.

State visit invitations are formally issued by the Queen as she hosts guests at Buckingham Palace and accompanies them in a carriage ride down the Mall.

But some Tory as well as Labour MPs believe that May was misguided in moving so quickly in engineering the trip to the UK to help cement the so-called “special relationship” between the two countries.

Trump’s attempt to introduce a travel ban on Muslim-majority countries sparked a huge backlash in Britain, with the Speaker of the House of Commons making clear he would not agree to allow Parliament to be used as a forum for the President.

The timing of the state visit was then fudged, with plans to stage to delay it from the summer to October, when Parliament was on a conference recess.

The snap general election threw the process into further doubt and Trump will be even more uncertain about a trip given the instability of May’s prospective minority government.

A No.10 spokesman told HuffPost UK: “An invitation has been extended and accepted. The visit wasn’t mentioned in the Queen’s Speech because a date hasn’t been fixed yet.”

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