Following Prime Minister Theresa May’s rare public admonishment of President Trump, it has now emerged that the President’s upcoming trip to the UK may be postponed to February next year.
Controversy arose when President Trump re-tweeted videos posted by Jayda Fransen, the deputy leader of far-right group Britain First. Downing Street, responding to outrage amongst the British community, released a public smack-down to the President saying that the “British people overwhelmingly reject the prejudiced rhetoric of the far-right which is the antithesis of the values that this country represents, decency, tolerance and respect. It was wrong for the president to have done this.”
Clearly not deterred, President Trump retaliated by telling Theresa May to ‘focus on the destructive radical Islamic terrorism that is taking place in the UK.’
But tensions seem to be close to boiling point with The Telegraph reporting today that US diplomats have dropped plans for Donald Trump to visit the UK. It was intended that the President arrive in London in 2018 for a ‘working visit’ and formally open America’s new London embassy. But in-and-amongst public tensions this week, the trip has been put into the long grass with no new date in the diary.
However, The British Prime Minister seems to have gained US support throughout this diplomatic incident. Republic Senator Orrin Hatch has backed Theresa May saying he has “respect for her and the way she leads the United Kingdom”:
“PM @theresa_may is one of the great world leaders, I have incredible love and respect for her and for the way she leads the United Kingdom, especially in the face of turbulence.” -OGH
(Photo: Hatch at 10 Downing Street last Tuesday) pic.twitter.com/KQoH2LoRe9
— Senator Hatch Office (@senorrinhatch) November 30, 2017
Senior Republican Senator John McCain has also expressed his “surprise” at President Trump’s rogue tweeting and Senator Lindsey Graham has said “I can’t tell you how much of a miscalculation this is.”
Closer to home, this latest spat has led to ongoing questioning about the nature of the relationship between the US and the UK. The Liberal Democrats have labelled the twitter spat as an insult to the Prime Minister and have insisted that President Trump not be invited to the UK.
— Vince Cable (@vincecable) November 30, 2017
Nevertheless, we should not expect this to create a seismic shift in UK policy towards the US and we can most likely still anticipate President Trump to visit at some stage given that the Education Secretary has re-iterated that “our relationship with the United States has a longevity to it that will succeed long after presidents come and go.”