NEWS
02/06/2019 23:29 BST | Updated 03/06/2019 09:31 BST

Donald Trump To Arrive In UK On Monday Amid Row Over NHS And Huawei

US President also denies calling Meghan Markle “nasty”, despite the comments being recorded.

Donald Trump will arrive in the UK on Monday morning amid anger over his ambassador suggesting the NHS should be “on the table” in future trade negotiations and waded into the Huawei controversy.

Trump himself was facing a backlash after he denied calling the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, “nasty”  - despite the comments being recorded.

On the eve of Trump’s arrival, which will be marked by all the pomp and ceremony that a state visit affords, his ambassador to the UK, Woody Johnson, signalled healthcare would be part of any post-Brexit UK-US trade deal agreed by Trump. 

Labour hit out at the comment and Matt Hancock, the health secretary and Tory leadership contender, insisted the NHS would “not be on the table” in talks.

Johnson also essayed the Huawei controversy and the possibility the Chinese company could be involved in building Britain’s 5G network.

He said he would “caution” the UK government to move much more slowly on the decision and warned the impact on intelligence arrangements was “to be determined” if the UK involved the company.

In a sign of divisions within Cabinet over the issue, Home Secretary Sajid Javid said he would not want “any company, whichever country it’s from, that has a high degree of control by a foreign government, to have access to our very sensitive tech communications”.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt also expressed concerns, telling US TV station CBS: “We have to ask as Western countries whether it is wise to allow one country to have such a commanding monopoly in the technologies that we’re all of us going to be depending on.”

It is thought Trump and May will discuss the issue this week.

PA Wire/PA Images

Trump made his remarks about the duchess in a Sun newspaper interview ahead of his state visit to the UK, but tweeted on Sunday: “I never called Meghan Markle ‘nasty’. Made up by the Fake News Media, and they got caught cold!”

May has said she is looking forward to building on the “strong and enduring ties” between the UK and US, adding that the state visit would mark a “significant week” for the “special relationship” between the two countries, and provide an opportunity to “further strengthen” the partnership.

The PM is expected to attend a state banquet hosted by the Queen at Buckingham Palace on Monday evening, where Trump and the monarch will make speeches.

On the eve of his visit, the PM said: “This is a significant week for the special relationship and an opportunity to further strengthen our already close partnership.

“During his state visit to the UK the president and I will be taking part in an historic commemoration of the D-Day landings and the sacrifice our armed forces made 75 years ago.

“And as we reflect on our shared history and honour those who fought so bravely on the beaches of Normandy, we also look to the future.”

She said the relationship between the two countries had “underpinned” their security and prosperity for many years and will continue to do so for “generations to come”.

“We do more together than any other nations in the world. We are the largest investors in each other’s economies and our strong trading relationship and close business links create jobs, opportunities and wealth for our citizens.

“Our security relationship too is deeper, broader and more advanced than with anyone else. Through joint military operations, unrivalled intelligence-sharing and our commitment to Nato, our global leadership remains at the heart of international peace and stability.

“So I look forward to welcoming President Trump to the UK and to building on the strong and enduring ties between our countries.”

Trump and his wife Melania will arrive on Monday morning and be officially welcomed by the Queen, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall at Buckingham Palace.

He will then have a private lunch with the Queen and view a special exhibition of items of historical significance to the United States from the Royal Collection.

Later, accompanied by the Duke of York, Mr and Mrs Trump will visit Westminster Abbey for a tour, and the president will lay a wreath at the Grave of the Unknown Warrior.