Talking Point: Should Donald Trump be allowed a UK state visit?

Should the US president be welcomed? (Getty)

The potential UK state visit of Donald Trump is a topic which simply won’t go away.

Not a day goes by without the U.S. President courting more controversy, whether it’s by mocking Asian leaders’ gestures during a speech or simply going back on his own words.

Most recently, the US president faced widespread backlash for retweeting anti-muslim videos posted by Jayda Fransen, Deputy Leader of the alt-right Britain First party.

Now, calls to cancel Trump’s visit have been backed by London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

He said Trump has promoted ‘a vile, extremist group’ and an official visit by him to Britain ‘would not be welcomed.’

Trump had barely made himself at home in the White House before Theresa May issued the official invite for a state visit during her own visit to the U.S. in January.

But in June, President Trump’s UK state visit was left out of the Queen’s Speech when opening Parliament, fueling speculation it had been scrapped.

However, in July it emerged that Trump may travel to the UK after all – albeit on a ‘sneak visit’ to his golf courses in Scotland.

So should President Trump be allowed to visit the UK?

Hannah says: ‘President Trump reportedly told Theresa May he wouldn’t visit if there were likely to be protests. This could delay the trip for at least Trump’s presidency – but it should make us even keener to have him as a guest.

‘The list of subjects Trump is scared of being called out on- sexual assault claims, racist immigration restrictions, suspicions that he obstructed an FBI investigation – may seem depressingly pedestrian to Americans, but still provoke outrage here.

‘The inevitable widespread protests would send a powerful message to the rest of the world that Britain will stand up to him (even if Theresa May won’t).

‘Trump would be taken to task for his misguided policies, such as the repeal of Obamacare and removal of the U.S. from the Paris Climate agreement.

‘Those who argue he’s been unfairly vilified in the press could hear from Trump themselves. Giving those with ill-advised plans the platform to explain them is a sure-fire way to reveal their flaws.

‘Giving space to those who spout incorrect, offensive or just plain idiotic beliefs is a necessary part of refuting such ideas.’

‘Donald Trump is a bully who stands in direct opposition to British values, and should therefore not be given the honour of a state visit.

‘He has used his wealth and platform to elevate himself to a position of power in order to bully, among other, Mexicans (‘rapists’) disabled people (‘retarded’), women (‘manipulative’), the media (‘fake’), African-Americans (‘thugs’), and he even insulted the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan.

‘Barack Obama waited two-and-a-half-years for a state invitation. George W Bush waited three. Why did Theresa May invite Trump for a state visit only seven days after his inauguration? It wasn’t in honour of our ‘special relationship,’ but an act of sycophantic subservience in the hope of getting a trade deal.

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‘If Trump’s state visit went ahead, it would send a message to the world that Theresa May, and by extension Britain, is weak. It would show Trump that we are desperate for his approval and trade, and put him in a position to mess us around.

‘It would tell Europe that they too could take advantage of Britain and its weak and anxious Prime Minister. It would also indicate to the British public (two million of whom signed a petition against the visit) that their views are not important.

‘Cancelling Trump’s state visit would send a message to Europe, to Trump, and to voters that Theresa May can stand up for herself. This is crucial in the wake of her failure to secure a parliamentary majority, falling poll ratings, and imminent entrance into the Brexit negotiating room.

‘It is time for Theresa May to have her Love Actually moment and rescind Donald Trump’s state visit invitation.’

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