- Donald Trump’s state visit scheduled for 3-5 June
- Protesters promise to disrupt president’s first official trip
- Visit will strengthen ‘already close relationship’, vows May
- Trump to attend 75th anniversary of D-Day in Portsmouth
- John Bercow urged to allow Trump to address parliament
Donald Trump’s long-awaited state visit to the UK has been announced.
The US President’s official trip is scheduled for 3-5 June and follows a working visit he made to Britain last summer with wife Melania.
Prime Minister Theresa 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 cooperation.
“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.”
As well as holding a bilateral meeting with May during the visit, Trump, who has as yet made no mention of the visit on his Twitter account, will be an official guest of the Queen.
The Wall is being rapidly built! The Economy is GREAT! Our Country is Respected again!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 23, 2019
On June 5, he and other representatives of the Second World War Allies – as well as Germany – are expected to attend a major international event in Portsmouth to mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day.
The gathering on Southsea Common will 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.
A White House spokesman said: “This state visit will reaffirm the steadfast and special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom.
“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.”
Trump and his wife will then travel to Normandy on June 6.
Commons Speaker John Bercow has been urged to allow Trump to address Parliament, after sparking controversy in 2017 by saying he should not be permitted to do so, and that it was “not an automatic right, it is an earned honour.”
The president’s visit is likely to draw demonstrations in the same way as his July 2018 trip, and security is expected to be high. Campaigners at the Stop Trump coalition and Stand Up To Trump have already promised they will mobilise huge numbers to disrupt his visit.
Member Sabby Dhalu claimed the US leader is “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.”
Asad Rehman, a spokesman for the Stop Trump Coalition, warned the recent campaign of civil disobedience by climate change protesters “will be nothing compared to what will be out on the streets with people opposing Donald Trump.”
He told BBC Radio 4’s World at One: “It’s simply a disastrous move from the Government and it should not be taking place.
“We will be planning a huge mobilisation of people. I think we will be easily expecting way more than the quarter of a million people who turned out last time.
“It will be very visual, it will be very creative, it will be a carnival atmosphere, but people will be seeking to make sure that Donald Trump doesn’t have the photo-opportunity that he wants.”
The visit will take place from Monday 3rd June to Wednesday 5th June this year. President Trump and Mrs Trump previously joined The Queen for tea at Windsor Castle in July 2018.— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) April 23, 2019
Find out more about State Visits here - https://t.co/GhgXtLI2jt
Clear your diaries, everyone. Let's all take to the streets in a massive show of defiance against everything Donald Trump stands for. https://t.co/kbpcFFyquW— Owen Jones🌹 (@OwenJones84) April 23, 2019
Big news: @realDonaldTrump and @MELANIATRUMP will be hosted by Her Majesty The Queen for their first State Visit to the United Kingdom in June. The transatlantic relationship has been the foundation of global peace and prosperity for many years – and great things are yet to come!— Jeremy Hunt (@Jeremy_Hunt) April 23, 2019
Protesters at the Extinction Rebellion event in Parliament Square reacted with disappointment to news of Trump’s impending visit.
Retired lecturer Sandie Stratford, from Lincoln, said: “Trump stands for all the wrong things as far as humanity is concerned - his denial of climate change, his support for the oil and gas industry which is burning up the planet.”
Catherine Rennie-Nash, from Cumbria, said: “If there were protests I think Trump would just dismiss them as a load of unemployed hippies having a festival for a week as some people do with this.”
The small business owner added: “I’m sure there will be thousands in taxpayer money going on his visit and I don’t want my money going to supporting someone with his views.
“He doesn’t know the difference between climate and weather.”
Shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry said: “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.
“This is a president who has systematically assaulted all the shared values that unite our two countries, and unless Theresa May is finally going to stand up to him and object to that behaviour, she has no business wasting taxpayers’ money on all the pomp, ceremony and policing costs that will come with this visit.”
May extended the offer of a state visit to Trump early in his presidency when she met the US leader for the first time in the White House in January 2017.
The state visit was expected that year but no date was set. The US leader’s 2018 trip to the UK was met by mass protest and had many of the trappings of a state visit, including a meeting with the Queen at Windsor Castle.
Adding in the cost of policing the four-day visit last year, the UK was left with an overall bill in excess of £14.5million. The figure was so high in part because of the widespread protest against Trump, which included thousands of people marching in London and the launch of an unflattering blimp, which portrayed him as an orange, angry baby.
Trump will be hosted by the Queen at Buckingham Palace and the visit is likely to follow the traditional format of an official open-air welcome, featuring prestigious British regiments, lunch with Her Majesty and a state banquet.
Senior royals are expected to be among those 170 guests called upon to join the lavish dinner. Clarence House has confirmed the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall will be participating.
But Trump is not expected to stay at the palace because of renovations being undertaken in the East Wing of the Queen’s London residence.
State visits normally last three days, and once the ceremonial elements with the Queen have been completed, visiting heads of state follow an itinerary that reflects their own interests and political aims.