Donald Trump is set to visit the UK in early 2018 - but for a ‘stripped-down’ trip that won’t involve getting the full ‘red-carpet’ treatment from the Queen.
Fears of mass protests have led diplomats to discuss downgrading the US President’s plans from a full-blown State Visit, according to the London Evening Standard.
Instead of receiving a Royal banquet at Buckingham Palace, the revised programme would see Trump embark on a “working” trip as part of a tour of other European states.
Jeremy Corbyn’s office have welcomed the downgrade, and renewed the Labour leader’s offer to take Trump to a local mosque to help him understand Muslim culture.
Theresa May tried to underline her close relations with the US President at the White House in January, when she invited him to the UK on a State Visit as guest of the Queen.
The intention was to repeat the success of Barack Obama’s own State Visit in 2011, but critics pointed out the convention was to wait for a President’s second term in office before being granted the honour.
The Trump trip had been expected this summer, but the UK snap general election as well as growing controversy over Trump’s foreign policy led to a rethink.
Some protestors had even planned to ‘moon’ the president en masse, as part of a campaign called ‘Show your rump to Trump’.
The newly stripped-down visit is expected to focus on global security issues.
Trump may be allowed cut the ribbon on the brand new US embassy which is close to completion at Nine Elms, near Battersea Power Station.
But he will not sleep at Buckingham Palace as the guest of the Queen, probably staying at the residence of the new US ambassador Woody Johnson instead.
Asked if the downgrade to a ‘working visit’ was a welcome move, a senior Labour source said: “We don’t think it’s appropriate or right for there to be a State Visit by the US President.
“If Donald Trump comes to the UK, Jeremy has said he’s prepared to meet him and would like to introduce him to different communities in Britain and make the case against many of the things Trump is doing domestically and internationally. He would take him to Finsbury Park Mosque and have a meeting there.”
A source close to Sadiq Khan confirmed to HuffPost UK that the Mayor of London, who led criticism of the State Visit invitation, “would not object” to a working visit.
Diplomatic sources suggested to The Times on Thursday that the trip could involve a short audience with the Queen to ‘mollify’ the President, but without the full trappings of a ceremonial visit.
The first real clue that the planned State Visit would not be going ahead in 2017 came in the Queen’s Speech in June.
Her Majesty usually lists all formal visits for the coming year, but pointedly did not include the US President’s trip.
The absence of Trump’s tour from her speech was a clear signal that no date had been agreed on his controversial visit.
It followed claims that he was worried about mass street protests causing embarrassment to himself and the Royal Family.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said that the Government’s State Visit invitation remained unchanged.
The Foreign Office said a State Visit, which is seen by MPs as being on indefinite hold, would go ahead at some stage.
“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.”