Trump's UK state visit: What's happened so far and what's on the agenda next

Trump's UK state visit: What's happened so far and what's on the agenda next
Copyright REUTERS/Carlos Barria
By Cristina Abellan Matamoros with REUTERS
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As US President turns to politics on Tuesday, he will be trying to convince UK prime minister Theresa May to ban China's Huawei from British 5G networks.


After receiving more pageantry than his last trip to the United Kingdom in July 2018, US President Donald Trump will turn to politics on Tuesday as he tries to persuade the UK government to ban China's Huawei from 5G networks.

While Trump talks technology and delves into Britain's Brexit crisis, thousands of demonstrators are expected to protest the US president's visit.

What has he done so far?

At a banquet in Buckingham Palace on the first day of his state visit, Trump praised the queen as a “great, great woman” and said the US and the UK shared and enduring alliance

“As we honour our shared victory and heritage, we affirm the common values that will unite us long into the future; freedom, sovereignty, self-determination, the rule of law and reference for the rights given to us by almighty God,” he said.

However, the visit has been all but conventional. Before he had even emerged from Air Force One, Trump had publicly endorsed Boris Johnson in his bid to be the UK's next prime minister, advised Britain to exit the EU on October 31 with or without a deal, called for Brexiteer Nigel Farage to conduct talks with the EU and called London mayor Sadiq Khan a “stone-cold loser” in a tweet.

Tuesday's Agenda

As Trump's visit turns political on Tuesday, the ban of Chinese telecom company Huawei from 5G British networks will be top of the agenda for the US president.

Earlier this month, the company was blacklisted from US supply chains over national security concerns.

Though the US had asked its allies not to use Huawei's 5G technology because of fears that China could use it to spy on Western powers, Britain appeared to defy the order.

"We've been clear: Our ask is that our allies and our partners and our friends don’t do anything that would endanger our shared security interests or restrict our ability to share sensitive information," said US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

May, on the other hand, will seek to affirm the "special relationship" between the two countries as Brexit looms on the British horizon.

She will also try to negotiate deeper transatlantic economic ties. At a meeting with British and US businesses at St. James' Palace, May will tell companies that greater cooperation would boost the countries' economic partnership.

"It is a great partnership, but one I believe we can make greater still," she will say, according to advance extracts from her office seen by Reuters.

"With a bilateral free trade agreement, with broader economic co-operation, and by continuing to work together to underpin, shape and influence the global economy and its rules and institutions - keeping markets free, fair and open, and keeping our industries competitive."

Trump will start his day with a business breakfast with May, who will present the US president with a framed reproduction of the 1941 Atlantic Charter, which sets out the principles of free trade and collective security that formed the basis of the postwar peace.

He will then be giving a tour of the Churchill War Rooms — a bunker-turned-museum underneath Whitehall in central London — and will take part in a commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion of Normandy.

The UK and US leaders will hold talks in the afternoon followed by a news conference.

A dinner with British political leaders which could include famous Brexiteer Boris Johnson might also be in order.

Who's happy about the visit and who's not?

US ambassador to the UK Woody Johnson

In an interview ahead of Trump's trip, Johnson, who has known Trump for decades, said he thought "everything is going to go great" on the state visit.


Nigel Farage

Trump this weekend came out in favour of the Brexit Party leader being involved in the UK government's negotiations around leaving the EU, calling him a “terrific person”.

Boris Johnson

The US president said ahead of his visit to the UK that the former mayor of London and ex-foreign secretary Boris Johnson would be an "excellent" choice for the Conservative Party leadership.

When Trump's visit was announced, Johnson labelled it "FANTASTIC news".

Who's not happy

Sadiq Khan

The mayor of London on Sunday labelled Trump "one of the most egregious examples of a growing global threat," writing in The Observer on Sunday.

Trump called Khan a "stone cold-loser" right before stepping off the air force one on Monday.


67% of residents

In a recent YouGov survey, 67% of respondents said they had a negative opinion of Donald Trump, with just 21% saying they had a positive opinion of the leader, while 12% reported having a neutral opinion.

Met police

With demonstrations planned outside Buckingham Palace, the US embassy, and on Trafalgar Square, London's Met Police security operations will likely require thousands of police officers.

Meghan Markle

The Duchess of Sussex won't be attending festivities surrounding Trump's visit, giving maternity leave as the official reason for her absence.

However, before becoming British royalty, she criticised the US president calling him “misogynistic” and “divisive”, saying she would be tempted to move to Canada if he won the US presidential election.

Jeremy Corbyn

Leader of the UK opposition Jeremy Corbyn said on Saturday said the US president's comments backing Johnson were “an entirely unacceptable interference in our democracy.”


He is set to speak at an anti-Trump rally on Tuesday.

READ MORE: Donald Trump in UK: Who is happy about the visit and who is not amused?

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