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Trump's UK state visit may be downgraded to working trip

Press Trust of India  |  London 

US President Donald Trump's proposed trip to the in early 2018 has reportedly been downgraded from the status of a grand state visit to a mere working one, according to media reports here.

It remains uncertain if the tour would include a meeting with Queen Elizabeth II, which would have been at the heart of the pomp and show that accompanies a state visit traditionally hosted by the British monarch.

Trump is said to be planning a tour of European capitals to win backing for his tough stance on and North Korea.

The controversy surrounding a state visit has reportedly been hampering efforts to include on such a schedule, leading to speculation that Trump's first trip to the may be in the form of a so-called working visit.

There had been widespread opposition to Prime Minister extending an invitation for a state visit to Trump during her visit to in January, days after he assumed office.

More than 1.8 million British citizens signed a petition against the plans, with House of Commons Speaker John Bercow taking the unprecedented step of making his views known that he would not be in favour of Trump addressing the Parliament during the visit.

Mayor Sadiq Khan was also among vocal opponents of the state visit, saying he was not sure it was appropriate for the UK government to "roll out the red carpet" for Trump in the wake of his US travel ban on citizens of some Muslim- majority countries.

It has now emerged that the visit will be a more low-key event where Trump would be a guest of the US ambassador to the UK, Woody Johnson, rather than the Queen.

Officials on both sides of the Atlantic tried to downplay this change of plans, claiming a full-fledged state visit was still on the cards.

"Our position on the state visit has not changed an offer has been extended and PresidentTrumphas accepted. Exact dates for PresidentTrumpto visit have not yet been arranged," a Downing Street spokesperson said.

But the lack of any mention of a US presidential visit in the Queen's speech earlier this year, which sets the agenda for all major visits hosted by the monarch, had confirmed that the trip had been postponed indefinitely.

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

First Published: Thu, October 12 2017. 20:13 IST