The British public are divided over the planned visit of US President Donald Trump to Britain, which was promised by UK Prime Minister Theresa May, but which has been delayed until at least October following protests, including a petition signed by over 1.98 million people.
Theresa May drew criticism after making clear Trump would be granted a state visit as soon as possible after becoming US president. There were street protests in London and several other UK cities over Trump’s alleged sexist and racist remarks in the run-up to the election.
“Donald Trump should be allowed to enter the UK in his capacity as head of the US Government, but he should not be invited to make an official State Visit because it would cause embarrassment to Her Majesty the Queen,” an e-petition to the UK Government signed by 1.8 million people stated.
Another petition, calling for the visit to go ahead, garnered over 300,000 signatures.
The issue was debated in the House of Commons, after which the government issued the statement: “HM Government believes the President of the United States should be extended the full courtesy of a State Visit. We look forward to welcoming President Trump once dates and arrangements are finalized.”
”The tens of thousands who have already protested against Trump’s visit have had a real effect — Trump’s visit will be delayed until at least October to ‘let the heat die down’. But we promise that it’s only going to get hotter,” a spokesperson for the Stop Trump coalition told.
“Theresa May has badly miscalculated. The British people don’t want this racist, misogynist billionaire anywhere near them. At the same time as showing our support to all the people in the USA battling this dangerous president, we will also show our own Prime Minister that she has no mandate to draw us closer to Trump or the other extreme right-wing leaders she is currently courting.
“This was never just about the state visit. Every day the British government gets closer to Trump in its policies — from refusing to guarantee the basic rights of EU migrants, to ending the Dubs Amendment scheme for child refugees. We urge people to join a growing movement that fights for the rights of migrants and minorities — for an inclusive and democratic society,” the spokesman added.
Meanwhile, a new YouGov poll shows that 49 percent of Britons believe Trump’s proposed state visit later this year should go ahead, with only 36 percent calling for it to be canceled.