Trump set for official UK visit in July – minus pomp and ceremony
Donald Trump will finally make his first official visit to Britain this summer, sources have confirmed.
The US president will join Theresa May for talks at No 10 and could also meet the Queen or other senior members of the royal family.
However, he will not be afforded the honour of a state visit with an official banquet at Buckingham Palace or a carriage procession up the Mall.
The prime minister’s official spokesman, when asked whether the visit had been confirmed, said: “When the prime minister and the president met at Davos, they said their officials were going to be putting together a working visit, and we will announce the details of that in due course.”
The Guardian understands that Trump is expected to travel to the UK after attending the Nato summit in Brussels in mid-July.
The prime minister invited Trump for a state visit when she became the first world leader to meet the president in the White House in January last year. It was swiftly downgraded to a “working trip” after huge public opposition to the visit and MPs vowed not to give Trump the opportunity to address parliament.
The US president then cancelled that visit to open the new US embassy in London amid fears of mass protests.
He claimed on Twitter that he had called it off because of his displeasure at Barack Obama having sold the previous embassy in Mayfair for “peanuts” and building a $1bn replacement. The move was signed off when George W Bush was still in the White House.
May’s government has been keen to strike up a close relationship with the Trump administration despite his erratic behaviour, in part because of Britain’s desire, post-Brexit, to strike a swift trade deal with the world’s largest economy.
The pair clashed last year after the president shared tweets from the far-right group Britain First, but in recent weeks their relationship appears to have been put on firmer footing after Britain joined US military strikes against the Syrian regime.
Trump is the first US president in decades to wrap up his opening year without offering a counterpart the honour of a state visit, a diplomatic tool used to impress and showcase ties between allies.