Trump’s not so Jolly Trip to the UK
Two recent petitions triggered debate amongst MPs in the UK: one against a state visit with 1.85 million votes and a second in favor which garnered 311,000 votes. Protesters gathered outside of Westminster as MPs discussed the matter. Paul Flynn, a member of the Labour Party, believes that proceeding with a state visit by the newly inaugurated U.S. President is “terribly wrong.” However, Tory member Nigel Evans, stated that the plans will not change for the planned visit.
In spite of disagreements over Trump’s visit, many believe that it is still in Britain’s national interest. Nonetheless, he will not address the Parliament in the wake of recent backlash by MPs. John Bercow, the Speaker of the Commons, has called for Trump to be barred from addressing Parliament. Trump’s visit will more than likely focus on a meeting with the Queen and other members of the Royal family.
Although the Government does not agree with Trump’s migration ban policy, it has highlighted the “special relationship” between the UK and the US. The US is one of the UK’s most important allies, and such a partnership is vital for economic prosperity and security. The Labour Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has expressed his displeasure with the “cruel and shameful” polices of Trump. Although he loves America and its citizens, he has mentioned that the special relationship between the US and UK calls for not only assisting one another through adversity, but also confronting each other when one commits wrongful actions.
Figures of controversy visiting the UK is not an uncommon occurrence. In the past, Queen Elizabeth has hosted Presidents Mobutu of Zaire and Nicolae Ceausescu of Romania. Regardless of this fact, Trump’s upcoming visit has caused much commotion in Britain. Trump’s arrival is unprecedented in the history of past U.S. presidential visits to the UK. Past U.S. presidents have never been invited for a state visit in their first year in office. Moreover, American presidents have traditionally waited several years to receive an invitation, while some have not even received the privilege of a state visit.