With Donald Trump’s state visit to the UK triggering controversy over his address to the Parliament, Britian may host him during parliamentary recess to avoid a snub of the US President by the lawmakers, a media report said today. The state visit invitation on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II has attracted a lot of opposition in Britain following the new President’s controversial immigration ban on citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries entering the US.
The Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, was the latest to weigh in on the issue earlier this week saying he was “strongly opposed” to an address by President Trump in Westminster Hall. Buckingham Palace and White House officials are in discussions to plan the visit around August and September this year, when Parliament will be in recess, the Guardian reported. A source told the newspaper that such a plan was “the preferred option” at the UK end.
Parliament will be in summer recess until September 5 and adjourns again for the annual political party conferences on September 15 for nearly a month. A weekend within that period is now a likely timeframe for the visit. This would take any address to MPs and Lords out of the itinerary.
As the Queen and her husband, Duke of Edinburgh, usually spend time in Balmoral Castle in Scotland at that time of the year, it remains to be seen whether the customary state banquet will be held in Windsor Castle or back in London at Buckingham Palace.
According to the report, officials are also said to be keen to limit Trump’s public exposure more generally during the visit, in order to reduce the opportunities for protests and disorder on a state occasion. This suggests that the President will spend relatively little time in London, while the majority of the visit will be conducted behind as strict a security cordon as possible. “We have no further details to share at this time,” a White House spokesperson told newspaper.