British Prime Minister Theresa May has formally rejected a petition calling for U.S. President Donald Trump to be prevented from making a state visit to the UK.
The online petition gathered over 1.8 million signatures, however the government issued an official response Tuesday morning saying it “recognises the strong views” of the signatories, but Mr Trump should be offered the “full courtesy of a State visit”.
The response says:
[Her Majesty’s] Government believes the President of the United States should be extended the full courtesy of a State Visit. We look forward to welcoming President Trump once dates and arrangements are finalised.
HM Government recognises the strong views expressed by the many signatories of this petition, but does not support this petition.
During her visit to the United States on 27 January 2017, the Prime Minister, on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen, invited President Trump for 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.
However, due to the high number of signatures parliament will still debate the proposed state visit next week.
The petition does not call for Mr Trump to be barred completely from the UK, but says he should not have the full honour of a state visit as it may “cause embarrassment to Her Majesty the Queen”.
House of Commons Speaker John Bercow is coming under increasing pressure to quit after he said Mr Tump should be barred from addressing Parliament due to his “racism and sexism”.
He has faced strong criticism, even from his counterpart in the House of Lords who said he had not been consulted before Mr Bercow made the announcement.