We should tell Donald Trump he's welcome to visit the UK - Jonathan Walker

We should tell Donald Trump he’s welcome to visit the UK – Jonathan Walker

The announcement that US President Donald Trump won’t be visiting the UK has been welcomed by some people.

Sadiq Khan, the Labour mayor of London, said Mr Trump had “got the message”. He claimed many people “love and admire America and Americans” but don’t like Mr Trump.

Boris Johnson , the Conservative Foreign Secretary, disagreed. He pointed out that the US is the biggest single investor in the UK, and claimed Mr Khan and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn “seem determined to put this crucial relationship at risk”.

Attacking Mr Khan, he said: “We will not allow US-UK relations to be endangered by some puffed up pompous popinjay”.

Mr Trump was due to open a new US embassy here, and his official story is that he’s pulled out because he’s angry about how much the embassy cost.

This is a pretty flimsy excuse, as he must have known that when he first agreed to make the visit.

Donald Trump and Prime Minister Theresa May.

It’s likely that he’s staying away because he doesn’t want to be met by the protests that are expected to greet him in the UK.

And there’s no doubt that protestors would be out in force – regardless of anything Mr Khan or Mr Corbyn say. No politician has the power to stop the public turning up.

But Mr Johnson is right about one thing. We do need good relations with the US.

And that’s still true even when the Americans elect a right plonker as their President.

Theresa May, the Prime Minister, has been widely criticised for trying to cultivate a friendship with the US President.

But look at it from her point of view. It’s not her fault America chose Trump to lead it.

He’s boasted about assaulting women and his attempts to prevent a devastating war with North Korea included calling North Korean leader Kim Jong-un “short and fat”.

He wouldn’t be my choice as President and I doubt he’d be Mrs May’s – although there are far more Brits who back Mr Trump than some of our politicians and media seem to realise.

Protesters in Victoria Square oppose a visit to Birmingham by US President Donald Trump
Protesters in Victoria Square oppose a visit to Birmingham by US President Donald Trump

But none of that matters, because we don’t get a say in who leads the US. We just need to work with whoever gets the job, particularly now that we’re leaving the European Union, for better or worse, and need to strike our own trade deals with the other countries.

Showing hostility to Mr Trump isn’t going to change the world, because Americans don’t let foreigners tell them who to vote for.

We’re just hurting ourselves.

Of course protestors have every right to make their views known. But our leaders should make it clear to Donald Trump that as far as they’re concerned, he’s welcome here.


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