US Presidents visit to the UK missing from Queen’s Speech
SCOTTISH campaigners are celebrating the defeat of the Tory Government’s plans to bring US President Donald Trump to the UK for a state visit.
Just days after Trump was innaugurated in January 2017, he and his then chief adviser Steve Bannon attempted to launch a ban on citizens of seven Muslim majority nations entering the US, an attempt that was defeated by the court system.
Trump has proved incapable of advancing several of his flaghsip policies more than a hundred days since he came to office. Despite this, and the numerous attacks he has made on women, disabled people and Mexican immigrants among other groups, Prime Minister Theresa May became one of Trump’s most important foreign allies after his election, owing in part to May’s need to form new international relationships in the aftermath of Brexit, which will see existing trade relationships ended. An official state visit for Trump to the UK was slated for October.
“Chalk this one up as a victory. And as a humiliation for the US-UK special relationship.” Jonathon Shafi
Jonathon Shafi, who helped organise demonstrations against Trump at the time of his election in January 2017 and against the Muslim ban, told CommonSpace the cancelation was “a victory for the power of protest” that should be remembered for future confrontations.
He said: “This is a victory for the power of protest. We showed immedialtey after the Muslim ban that thousands would mobilise. It was made clear that a state visit would be met with protests on a scale not seen since Febuary 15 2003 when over a million marched agains the Iraq war.
“Chalk this one up as a victory. And as a humiliation for the US-UK special relationship.”
May is beset with problems, having lost her parliamentary majority in the General Election. She now faces a resurgent ‘soft Brexit’ faction within the Conservatives party, and attempting to stich together a deal with the hard right DUP.
The Queen’s Speech yesterday (22 June), which was supposed to set-out the government’s legislative agenda for the next two years, put forth what Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn described as a “threadbare” programme, with many Tory manifesto pledges dropped.
A state visit for foreign royals was announced, but the planned state visit for Trump had gone. UK and US Government officials insist talks are ongoing to secure the visit, but no date for the visist now exists.
Stop the War Vice Chair Chris Nineham said: “The fact that Trump has been forced to call off his planned visit in October for fear of demonstrations is an unprecedented blow against the special relationship as well as being more proof that protests work. Trump says he won’t visit if there are going to be demonstrations and while people do not welcome his visit, so we can safely assume he won’t be coming over any time soon.
“This is more than a matter of movement self-congratulation. Britain has been the US’s key political and military ally throughout the ‘War on Terror’. The removal of Britain at least as a public champion of the US is a big foreign policy setback for a regime whose serial aggressions are isolating it further and further on the world stage.”
Trump has also isolated some of his core isolationist supporters by engaging in military attacks on foreign countries including Yemen, Afghanistan and Syria.
Scots will be heading to London to protest against May’s fragile government on 1 July. A bus organised by the Better than Zero anti-exploitation campaign sold out in hours, but more buses are being organised by unions and campaigning groups.
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