- Donald Trump’s state visit to the UK has reportedly been put on hold following large protests.
- However, he now plans a more low-key ‘working visit’ in which he could still meet the Queen.
- The president could still meet the Queen on the request of prime minister Theresa May.
- Downing Street deny any knowledge of plans for a stripped down visit.
LONDON — Donald Trump still hopes to meet the Queen when he visits the United Kingdom next year, despite his trip being stripped down to a “working visit.”
The US president was due to take part in a full state visit to the UK shortly after becoming president. He was reportedly keen to stay at Buckingham Palace, have a carriage ride down The Mall, and have a round of golf at Balmoral.
However, the visit was put on hold following large protests and opposition from London Mayor Sadiq Khan and the Speaker of the House of Commons. New plans for a more limited visit, in which he would not be hosted by the Queen are now being considered.
The change follows over 1.8 million people signing a petition against the plans for the state visit, and John Bercow, the speaker of the House of Commons saying that Trump will not be allowed to address MPs in parliament.
Bercow said parliament would not be willing to welcome Trump due to “our opposition to racism and to sexism.”
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said in June: “I don’t think we should roll out the red carpet to the president of the USA in the circumstances where his policies go against everything we stand for.”
The White House reportedly told UK officials that Trump was not willing to take part in a state visit as long as large scale opposition to his visit remained. One senior government source told Business Insider earlier this year that the visit had been put on hold at least until next year.
However, Trump is now likely to include London in a tour of European capitals early in 2018, despite threats of mass protest if he came to the UK.
Trump could still be allowed to meet the Queen on a stripped down “working visit” in order to placate him, it was reported on Thursday.
He has already visited Germany, France, Italy, Belgium and Poland, and British officials are keen for the president to come to the UK in order to signify a strong relationship with the US, especially after Brexit.
Both sides have officially said that the visit was going ahead as planned and that Trump’s invitation to visit the Queen still stood.
A spokesperson for Prime minister Theresa May said they were not aware of any plans for a working visit and added: “Our position on the state visit has not changed — an offer has been extended and President Trump has accepted.”
A US president is usually given a state visit in their second term, but more informal trips to the UK by American heads-of-state have precedence.
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