The decision to invite Donald Trump for a state visit by Theresa May has put the Queen in a “very difficult position,” Lord Ricketts, a former head of the Foreign Office said.
A petition has got more than 1.6 million signatures calling for the cancellation of Trump’s state visit. A pro-visit petition, on the other hand, got some 90,000 signatures.
An emergency debate in Parliament of U.K ensued after the controversial immigration ban.
Mr. Ricketts added that the speed of the invitation was “surprising” and it was an unprecedented step to invite a U.S. President for a state visit during the first year of his tenure.
In a letter written to the Times, he questioned whether Mr. Trump has been particularly deserving of the honor, and described the invitation as “premature.” He also stated that it would have been far wiser to wait and see what kind of president Trump is before advising the Queen to invite him.
The date of the state visit has not been announced yet, an event which often includes a stay at the Buckingham Palace hosted by the Queen.
Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen said that a special relationship with the United States is needed at a time when debates are beginning over the government’s bill to start the Brexit process.
“The offer of a free-trade deal with the US quickly will be a huge benefit to our negotiations over the next two years as we negotiate our exit from the EU and access to the single market.”
Mrs. May’s office said on Monday that she was “very happy” to extend the invitation to Mr. Trump on behalf of the Queen. Although Downing Street is standing firm on the invitation, there can be flexibility on when Mr. Trump visits the U.K.
Mrs. May came under immense pressure to state whether she was briefed about U.S. travel ban when she met President Trump last week. The ban restricts citizens from seven Muslim countries; the Trump administration denies to call it a Muslim ban.
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson declined to comment on Monday in front of MPs on the confidential conversation between the two leaders. The Prime Minister came under attack when she refused to comment on the ban during her visit to Turkey. Downing Street later issued a statement that Mrs. May “does not agree” with Mr. Trump’s travel ban, but the U.S. ban was a matter for the U.S. government to deal with.
London saw a number of demonstrations on Monday, with people chanting anti-Trump slogans including “Shame on May.” The protestors held banners accusing Trump of Islamophobia and Mrs. May of appeasing him.
The demonstrations were not only confined to London, but protests also took place in other cities like Glasgow, Manchester, Newcastle, Oxford, Leeds, Leicester, and Edinburgh.
Labor Leader Jeremy Corbyn lambasted the travel ban and said that:
“Trump should not be welcomed to Britain while he abuses our shared values with his shameful Muslim ban and attacks on refugees’ and women’s rights.”