British Parliament to Debate US President Donald Trump's UK Visit
British Lawmakers will debate US President Donald Trump's proposed state visit to the UK after a petition opposing the tour amassed nearly two million signatures.
File photo of US President Donald Trump. (Reuters)
London: British Lawmakers will debate US President Donald Trump's proposed state visit to the UK after a petition opposing the tour amassed nearly two million signatures.
The House of Commons will debate an online petition with more than 1.8 million signatures saying a formal state visit by President Trump "would cause embarrassment to Her Majesty the Queen."
A second petition in support of such a state visit had attracted over 300,000 signatures and will also be debated in line with UK parliamentary rules requiring petitions receiving more than the 100,000 signatures to be considered for a Commons debate.
The debate in Westminster Hall of the House of Commons will be opened by petitions committee member MP Paul Flynn, with a response by UK Foreign Office minister Alan Duncan on behalf of the government.
British Prime Minister Theresa May has already officially rejected the 'Prevent DonaldTrumpfrom making state visit to the United Kingdom' petition.
A Downing Street statement earlier this month said: "We look forward to welcoming PresidentTrumponce dates and arrangements are finalised.
Her Majesty's government recognises the strong views expressed by the many signatories of thispetition, but does not support this petition.
"During her visit to the United States on January 27, 2017, the Prime Minister, on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen, invited PresidentTrumpfor a state visit to the UK later this year. The invitation was accepted."
"This invitation reflects the importance of the relationship between the United States of America and the United Kingdom. At this stage, final dates have not yet been agreed for the state visit."
The state visit, expected around August/September this year,has been at the centre of a lot of protests and controversy, including Commons Speaker John Bercow's impartiality coming into question after saying thatTrumpshould be barred from addressing Parliament during
any such visit to the UK.
Thousands of protesters are expected to gather for rallies outside Parliament in London and across other UK cities to coincide with the Commons debate today.
According to the Stop Trump coalition website, protests against the US President and in support of migrants will also be held in Manchester, Liverpool, Nottingham, Leicester, Brighton, Bristol, Leeds, Newcastle, Glasgow and Edinburgh.
The group has called a nationwide day of action and dozens of protests have been coordinated by the "One Day Without Us" movement, celebrating the contribution immigrants make to British society.
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