Diplomatic headache for UK before Trump’s state visit

Diplomatic headache for UK before Trump’s state visit

Agency News

London, June 2: Britain and the US may have a special relationship but President Donald Trump's state visit will be a diplomatic balancing act for the UK, where Trump is deeply unpopular.

Even before his arrival on British shores, the president caused a stir by wading into the contest to replace Theresa May as prime minister and criticising Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, says an Euronews report.

Trump's trip comes as the UK is facing its most significant crisis since the Second World War. It is currently in the midst of a long and messy divorce from the European Union, the economic and political bloc it has belonged to for more than 40 years. That divorce has now brought down a second prime minister in less than three years.

May announced on May 24 that she will step down as prime minister and leader of her ruling Conservative party just days after the president's visit. Her party is now in the midst of a heated race to decide who will be its next leader and the country's next prime minister.

With no Brexit deal in sight, and future trade ties with Europe now up in the air, a trade deal with the US has become increasingly important.

On his last visit to the UK, Trump didn't hold back. He blasted May over Brexit and warned that her plan could scuttle an American trade deal with the UK because Britain would remain too close with the EU. In his interview Friday Trump again criticized May's handling of Brexit, saying she "didn't give the European Union anything to lose" in negotiations.

There are few precedents when it comes to presidential state visits. This is only the third for a U.S. president since the queen assumed the throne in 1952, with Bush receiving the honor in 2003 and Obama in 2011. The queen only hosts one or two state visits a year. This trip will stand in stark contrast to Obama's visit in particular. (UNI)