Donald Trump set to come to the UK next year – but it won’t be the formal State Visit he was promised
Trump visit to UK downgraded to 'working visit' amid threats of mass protests
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Donald Trump is set to visit Britain early in 2018 – but for a stripped-down trip that will not include staying with the Queen.
Diplomats are discussing plans for a “working visit” by the US president that will be shorn of the pomp and flummery of a full-blown State Visit.
And instead of a red carpet event to showcase the special relationship, it is likely to form part of a tour of several countries by Mr Trump.
The downgrading of Mr Trump’s first trip as President to the UK follows the huge controversy when Theresa May tried to steal a march on other world leaders by offering a State Visit as guest of the Queen that was intended to take place this summer, breaching a convention that the honour is usually reserved for a president’s second term.
There were threats of boycotts and mass protests when the VIP treatment was announced – with Commons Speaker John Bercow declaring that the President would not be allowed to address the House of Commons.
The visit was then postponed indefinitely, although the invitation is expected to be taken up at some stage.
Britain has since watched as Mr Trump visited a list of major world capitals. He joined Emmanuel Macron in Paris with their wives for the Bastille Day festivities in July, shortly after having talks with Angela Merkel and attending a G20 summit in Hamburg.
In May Mr Trump toured the Vatican and met the Pope. He also was visited King Philippe of Belgium at the Royal Palace in Brussels, before talks with Donald Tusk and Jean-Claude Juncker at the European Union headquarters and a working lunch with French President Macron at the US Embassy.
British and US sources say the full State visit to the UK will go ahead at some stage but no dates are being discussed.
The stripped down working visit in 2018 is expected to be far less controversial than a Royal welcome because it will centre on global security discussions.
Mr Trump sees Britain as a key ally in his attempt to put pressure on the rogue leadership of North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons threats.
He is also trying to allay international concern that a nuclear deal with Iran brokered by Barack Obama is being dismantled.