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After UK-US spats, Trump flies in to turmoil in Britain

AFP  |  London 

arrives in Britain today for his first visit as US president, flying into a whirlwind of protests against him and political turmoil over

The four-day trip, which will include talks with Theresa May, tea with and a private weekend in Scotland, is set to be greeted by a leftist-organised mass protest in tomorrow.

Despite a series of diplomatic spats between Britain and Trump, the is hoping for a quick trade deal with the US after it leaves the

"When we leave the we will begin to chart a new course for Britain in the world and our global alliances will be stronger than ever," May said ahead of Trump's visit.

"There is no stronger alliance than that of our special relationship with the US and there will be no alliance more important in the years ahead," the British leader said.

US to the UK, Woody Johnson, has said a deal will be "a major priority" for Trump, calling "a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to change direction".

flies in after the NATO summit in and leaves Britain on Sunday for talks in the following day with Russian

Britain "is in somewhat turmoil", said before departing Washington, remarking that dealing with Putin might surprisingly be the easiest part of the European trip.

"The UK certainly has a lot of things going on," he said, referring to the resignations of Britain's and foreign ministers over the government's plan for ties with the after it leaves the bloc in March.

Johnson sought to explain Trump's comments.

"There's always turmoil in every country but no, no, I think the UK is proceeding as it always does," he told radio.

"We're extremely confident in the ability of the UK to plough through this issue with Brexit and move on," he said.

On the planned protests, the said that Trump appreciated free speech and dismissed as "irrelevant" a giant balloon of Trump depicted as a crying baby in nappies which will fly next to the tomorrow.

The crowdfunded initiative has been dubbed "Trump Baby".

The US president's brash style and hardline "America First" policies have caused consternation across Britain's political spectrum and society.

He was severely criticised last November, including by May, after sharing three posted by group

His criticism of Britain's anti-terror policies after a series of attacks in 2017 also did not go down well.

Opposition lawmakers, backed by an signed by nearly 1.9 million people, called on May to cancel the state visit offered when she met Trump in after his inauguration in January last year.

May will seek to put the diplomatic tensions behind her when she hosts Trump today for a black-tie dinner with business leaders at Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of World War II

He is due to stay overnight with Johnson at the ambassador's Winfield House residence in London's Regent's Park.

Tomorrow, May and Trump will visit a then travel to the prime minister's Chequers country residence for talks followed by a press conference.

The pair will discuss relations with Russia, Brexit and trade ties, Downing Street officials said, after Trump recently slapped tariffs on EU and aluminium imports.

Trump then heads to later Friday for tea with

He then travels north to where he and his wife will spend the weekend privately. His late mother hailed from Scotland, where he owns two luxury golf courses.

On arrival, Trump will not be met by Scottish First - a - and instead by the British government's minister

There will be small-scale protests all along Trump's itinerary and a mass demonstration called "Together Against Trump" by left-wing campaign groups in tomorrow.

"We are going to organise a massive national demonstration against his of sexism, racism, war, hate and climate denial," organisers said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, July 12 2018. 12:40 IST
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