Trump to make first state visit to UK in June, Buckingham Palace announces

Rob Merrick
1 / 2
John Bercow under pressure to lift ban on Donald Trump giving speech in parliament

Donald Trump will make his long-delayed state visit to Britain in early June, Buckingham Palace has announced – paving the way for mass protests.

The US president will meet the Queen again and enjoy the full pomp and ceremony of the major honour, more than two years after Theresa May issued the controversial invitation.

Mr Trump will spend most of three days in the UK, before a trip to France as part of 75th anniversary commemorations for the D-Day landings on 6 June.

It is unclear whether he will address MPs and peers at the Houses of Parliament – after John Bercow, the Commons speaker, said he was “strongly opposed” because of the president’s migrant ban.

Mr Trump’s first visit, in July last year, saw an estimated 250,000 people join a protest march through the streets of central London.

The campaigners also crowdfunded a baby balloon, depicting Mr Trump in a nappy, which was put on display outside parliament.

Labour MPs, including David Lammy and Stella Creasy, have already reacted with dismay to the announcement, which was confirmed by Downing Street.

“Deluded, dishonest, xenophobic, narcissistic, Donald Trump is no friend of Britain,” tweeted Mr Lammy. “He is not fit to hold public office, let alone worthy of our country’s highest honours and a banquet with the Queen.”

Mr Trump will be only the third sitting US president – following George W Bush and Barack Obama – treated to an official UK state visit during Queen Elizabeth II’s reign.

During the three day visit, from 3-5 June, Mr Trump will hold discussions with Ms May in Downing Street and attend military displays in Portsmouth to commemorate the critical moment in the Second World War.

The prime minister said their talks would focus on closer trade ties but made no mention of hopes for a Brexit trade deal, with European Union withdrawal on hold.

“We do more together than any two nations in the world, and we are both safer and more prosperous because of our cooperation,” Ms May said.

“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.”

Asked about a speech at Westminster, a spokesperson for the Speaker’s Office said: “Should a request be made to address the Houses of Parliament, it will be considered in the usual way.”

The gathering on Southsea Common, on 5 June, 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.

Representatives from Canada, France, Australia, New Zealand and many other countries, including Germany, have also been invited to attend the event.

The following day the prime minister will travel to Normandy to attend commemorative events including the inauguration of the British Normandy memorial in Ver-sur-Mer.