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Donald Trump to make state visit to UK in June

UK News | Published:

The US president and his wife Melania will be guests of the Queen during the three-day visit, which begins on June 3.

US President Donald Trump

US President Donald Trump is to make a state visit to the UK in June, Buckingham Palace has confirmed.

Mr Trump and his wife Melania will be guests of the Queen during the three-day visit, which begins on June 3.

The long-awaited state visit comes more than two years after Prime Minister Theresa May offered the invitation to the US leader just days into his presidency, when they met for the first time at the White House in January 2017.

Mrs May was widely criticised for bestowing such an honour on a controversial figure and campaigners have already pledged to organise demonstrations.

Shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry voiced her concerns about the visit, saying: “It beggars belief that on the very same day Donald Trump is threatening to veto a United Nations resolution against the use of rape as a weapon of war, Theresa May is pressing ahead with her plans to honour him with a state visit to the UK.”

Buckingham Palace said in a brief statement: “The President of the United States of America, President Donald J. Trump, accompanied by Mrs Melania Trump, has accepted an invitation from Her Majesty the Queen to pay a State Visit to the United Kingdom from Monday 3rd June to Wednesday 5th June 2019.”

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The Prime Minister said Mr Trump’s visit would be a chance for the UK and US to strengthen their “already close relationship”.

Mr Trump will hold a bilateral meeting with Mrs May during the trip and attend a ceremony in Portsmouth to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day.

US President Donald Trump walking with Prime Minister Theresa May prior to a joint press conference at Chequers, her country residence in Buckinghamshire
Donald Trump with Theresa May at Chequers (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Countries which fought alongside the United Kingdom in the historic military operation, as well as Germany, have been invited to attend.

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Mrs May said: “The UK and United States have a deep and enduring partnership that is rooted in our common history and shared interests.

“We do more together than any two nations in the world and we are both safer and more prosperous because of our co-operation.

“The state visit is an opportunity to strengthen our already close relationship in areas such as trade, investment, security and defence, and to discuss how we can build on these ties in the years ahead.”

The Queen hosted US President Donald Trump and his wife Melania Trump at Windsor Castle during their 2018 UK visit. Chris Jackson/PA Wire
The Queen hosted US President Donald Trump and his wife Melania Trump at Windsor Castle during their 2018 UK visit (Chris Jackson/PA)

Commons Speaker John Bercow was urged last week to allow Mr Trump to address Parliament after rumours of the US president’s state visit began circulating.

Visiting heads of state are sometimes given the honour of speaking to the Commons and the Lords but in 2017 Mr Bercow sparked controversy by saying the US leader should not be allowed to make a formal address.

The Speaker said at the time that addressing Parliament was “not an automatic right, it is an earned honour”.

Before Buckingham Palace confirmed the visit a spokeswoman for the Speaker’s Office said: “Should a request be made to address the Houses of Parliament, it will be considered in the usual way.”

Details of the ceremonial elements of the visit have yet to be announced by Buckingham Palace, but the visit is likely to follow the traditional format of an official open-air welcome featuring prestigious British regiments, lunch with the Queen and a state banquet.

The organisation Stand Up To Trump said campaigners had pledged to mobilise huge numbers in response to the state visit.

Member Sabby Dhalu claimed the US leader was “the world’s number one racist, warmonger and misogynist”.

“A formal state visit to Britain in June must be met with widespread opposition,” she said.

“All those that value peace and hope for a better world for the many must take to the streets and say clearly that Donald Trump is not welcome here.”

The US leader’s working visit to the UK last summer, when he met the Queen at Windsor Castle, was also greeted with demonstrations.

A White House spokesman said: “This state visit will reaffirm the steadfast and special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom.

“In addition to meeting the Queen, the president will participate in a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Theresa May.

“While in the United Kingdom, the president and first lady will attend a ceremony in Portsmouth to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day, at one of the primary embarkation sites for the Allied operation that led to the liberation of Europe during World War II.”

The D-Day event will be staged on Portsmouth’s Southsea Common and involve live performances, military displays and tributes to the Allied troops who fought in Normandy, including a flypast of 26 RAF aircraft and at least 11 Royal Navy vessels in the Solent.

Mrs May said: “I am proud that the UK will host representatives and veterans from allied nations to pay tribute to that sacrifice and recognise the extraordinary co-operation that made the Normandy landings possible.

“And today – as we face new and different challenges to our security – we must continue to stand together to uphold our shared values and way of life.”

The prime minister and the president and his wife will travel to Normandy on June 6 for further Normandy commemorations, with Mrs May attending a number of events including the inauguration of the British Normandy memorial in Ver-Sur-Mer.

Dave Webb, chairman of CND, said: “That Trump has even been offered a state visit – with all the pomp and ceremony that it will entail – is truly shocking.

“Why is Theresa May attempting to normalise the behaviour of a man who casually threatens nuclear war, tears up nuclear treaties, who has broken every convention of appropriate behaviour with his misogynistic language, his ban on Muslim immigrants, his climate change denial and retweeting material from far-right organisations here in Britain?

“The state visit is totally unacceptable and certainly not a diplomatic necessity as some have suggested. We will be working with other organisations to mobilise hundreds of thousands of people on the streets in June to oppose the politics Trump represents.”

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