GP Insights # 59, 8 June 2019
US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump have begun their three-day state visit to the UK. The tour entails a number or official engagement mainly with the British royal family and will also attend the 75th D-Day anniversary of the World War II allies. Day one consists of meeting with the British royal family, meeting Queen Elizabeth II, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall as they attend and carry out other ceremonial duties. Day two involves meeting Theresa May at 10 Downing Street, where they will hold bilateral talks and have a press conference. Day 3 encompasses honouring the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings, Trump along with members of the Royal family, will attend this event.
What is the background?
The visit comes a year after Trump’s visit to the UK last year. There were several mishaps during that visit, with him breaking certain protocol and resistance from the public. This state visit, however, occurs amid newer challenges that the UK and US have to address.
What does it mean?
The implication of this visit is numerous. In no order of importance, the Huawei controversy with China will be one of the topics that would be discussed. Other issues such as the Middle East peace plan by Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law “deal of the century” will be spoken off, though the UK would probably warn that plan needs more importance on political rights for Palestinians. The Trump team are also looking for the UK’s support on the US economic sanctions to force Tehran to reopen the nuclear deal. The US has hopes that a Boris Johnson premiership might back Trump’s approach.
However, Trump faces some resistance due to his extreme views on climate change and migration, and this has caused criticism to develop both internally and externally. Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has refused to attend Trump's state banquet, condemning the president of using “racist and misogynist rhetoric". However, there are other maintain that the US is a vital ally of the UK and that Trump should be welcomed accordingly.