Trump will not grace British soil until 2018
It’s no secret that not many people in Britain are a fan of President Donald Trump, especially since he took office last year. Reportedly, Trump even went as far as to tell Prime Minister Theresa May that he didn’t want to visit the UK unless the hostile atmosphere towards him lessened and now, a White House official has confirmed that Trump will not grace British soil until 2018.
The White House official revealed to Reuters, ‘It’s just a scheduling issue. Finding a date that works for everyone turned out to be difficult. We’re looking at next year.’
The move comes as no surprise, with many suspecting the move after the Queen left Trump’s potential state visit out of her speech to parliament. Traditionally, visits from state leaders to the UK are announced during the speech and Queen Elizabeth only referenced Spain’s King Felipe and Queen Letiza in July. Prince Harry has been granted his first official royal duty and will be welcoming them to the UK.
Trump has been busy making the rounds and meeting political leaders, with a highly publicised visit to the Middle East earlier this year as well as the recent G20 summit.
During a bilateral meeting with Theresa May, he addressed his future state visit saying, ‘We will be going to London. We’ll be going to London. 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.’
Theresa May has previously extended an invitation to Trump on behalf of the Queen, which she expressed to him during her recent visit to the White House. However millions of Brits have protested in response, with many signing a petition to bar or downgrade his visit to the UK.
In a parliamentary debate held in February, the topic of his trip to Britain was heavily discussed with Labour MP Paul Flynn drawing comparisons between his behaviour and a ‘petulant child’.
The Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow had a more considered response, saying, ‘As far as this place is concerned, I feel very strongly that our opposition to racism and to sexism and our support to equality before the law and an independent judiciary are hugely important considerations in the House of Commons.’
Trump has also recently butted heads with London Mayor Sadiq Khan, after he misrepresented Khan’s statement following June’s London Bridge attacks.
Khan referenced increased security around the city and said that there was no reason to be alarmed by uniformed and armed officers. President Trump however took his quote out of context and criticised Khan on Twitter, saying ‘At least 7 dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and Mayor of London says there is ‘no reason to be alarmed!’
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Sadiq Khan did not immediately respond to his comment, however a spokesperson for the mayor said scathingly that he had ‘more important things to do than respond to Donald Trump’s ill-informed tweet that deliberately takes out of context his remarks’. Many came to Khan’s defence, including the chief of London’s US Embassy and J.K. Rowling. In a later interview on Channel 4, the Mayor then called for the cancellation of Trump’s visit.
While an official date for his London visit has yet to be announced, Trump will be coming to Europe tomorrow to visit President Emmanuel Macron in Paris.