Instead of a regular State Visit of the Head of a State, US President Donald Trump has been asked to make a ‘dummy’ run which would be a low key affair devoid of the pomp and show normally associated with any regular State visit. The purpose of the visit would be to have brief talks with Prime Minister Theresa May who has an agenda of her own, namely to lay hands on a good post-Brexit trade deal with the US.

The situation is embarrassing

Daily Mail UK reports that this decision is seen as a victory for the British because people had signed an online petition en-masse demanding that the trip of U.S.

President Donald Trump to Britain must be downgraded because of his attitude towards others. It is understood that he would be offered a State visit at a subsequent date, probably next year provided the low profile one is successful.

This decision has been taken keeping in mind concerns that, if his first formal visit to the UK since winning power is a full-blown State occasion, it could turn out to be a disaster. There could be demonstrations and, since the actions and words of Trump are unpredictable as has been noticed in recent times, situations could arise that would embarrass the Queen. The White House also wants to avoid any unpleasantness and feels that a ‘dummy run’ would help to get the feel of the ground realties.

In case there are problems, there could be a rethinking on the subsequent State visit.

Background of the State visit

Theresa May was in the White House in January and had extended the invitation to Donald Trump at that time for a State visit. He agreed and indicated that he would prefer to have a game of golf at the private nine-hole course at the Queen’s Scottish home, Balmoral and he wanted Her Majesty also to be present.

It seems his idea was to go one up on ex-President Ronald Reagan who had gone horse riding with the Queen in 1992. Trump had also expressed a desire to meet Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge.

Incidentally, there was no mention of any State visit in the speech of the Queen last month in which Prime Minister Theresa May had outlined plans of the Government for the coming 12 months.

It is usual to include events of this nature in the Queen’s Speech. Moreover, London Mayor Sadiq Khan has called for the State visit of Trump to be scrapped. He has remarked that there are many conflicting policies between the two countries and these need to be resolved first. It may be recalled that there was a veritable war of words between him and Donald Trump over the London Bridge terror attack. That is when relations soured.