US president Donald trump arrives in a country he says is in turmoil on Thursday. That’s how he described the UK after two government ministers resigned from Theresa May’s government over her Brexit plans.
Before setting off for Europe, President Trump also said former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson – one of those to quit Mrs May’s cabinet – was a friend of his.
All this would make for an awkward meeting on its own, but the visit is also likely to be marked by large anti-Trump protests in London and Scotland.
President Donald Trump arrives in the UK Thursday in a visit that will include a dinner with business leaders at Blenheim Palace, tea with Britain’s Queen’s Elizabeth the second at Windsor Castle and a visit to his golf course in Scotland.
He’ll also hold bilateral talks with Theresa May.
The president will spend very little time in London where large demonstrations are expected against his visit.
Activists are determined their message will be heard and seen protestors plan to float a giant inflatable of Mr Trump depicted as a baby above the city during his visit. They accuse him of hateful and divisive rhetoric.
All of this means British leader Theresa May will be walking something of a tightrope with the US President as she tries to maintain what’s famously been described as a special relationship between the countries.
Political commentator Paul Osbourne says: “In Britain everything is seen through the prism of Brexit and so as we prepare to leave the European Union. It’s vital to the British government that we have the strongest possible relationship with America. So that special relationship matters even more to us, now than it did two or three years ago. The problem is it evidently doesn’t matter very much to Donald Trump,” says Osbourne.
For this visit to the UK, Donald Trump will be surrounded by military pageantry and splendid locations in a bid to impress him and highlight the defense alliance between the two countries.
Theresa May will be hoping for a smooth few days with no unhelpful tweets.
But thousands of demonstrators will express their view – that President Trump shouldn’t be coming to the UK at all.