Trump to make downgraded visit to Britain in early 2018


Plans are underway for US President Donald Trump to make a long-awaited visit to Britain early next year, but the trip will be downgraded from a state visit and will not include an audience with Queen Elizabeth II, a news report said on Wednesday.

Diplomats are discussing a "working visit" by Trump that will include a meeting with Prime Minister Theresa May but will be "shorn of the pomp and flummery of a full-blown state visit," London's Evening Standard reported.

Rather than "a red-carpet event to showcase the special relationship" between the two countries, the visit is likely to form part of a tour of several European capitals by the US president, said the newspaper, which is edited by May's former cabinet colleague, George Osborne.

The pro-EU Osborne served as chancellor of the exchequer under former prime minister David Cameron until July 2016 and remained a Conservative member of parliament until May.

The newspaper noted that the postponement of Trump's visit followed "threats of boycotts and mass protests" in the months after May's invitation to Trump during a visit to Washington in January.

"We can question the wisdom of Brexit Britain appearing overly desperate for friends, not least as the offer of an early state visit has been withdrawn," the Standard said in a commentary.

"The truth is that a weak [British] government got cold feet as it contemplated the large protests likely to confront Mr Trump on his arrival."

The newspaper said its view was that "any US president is welcome in London."

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