Published: Thu, February 23, 2017
World Media | By Joan Schultz

MPs work themselves into a state over Trump visit

MPs work themselves into a state over Trump visit

While members of the British Parliament are debating whether or not to welcome Donald Trump with a state visit, people across the United Kingdom on Monday are taking to the streets to protest the anti-immigrant policies championed by the new us president and the global far-right movement. In response, a petition was promptly created and signed by about 2 million United Kingdom citizens protesting his proposed state visit, proving that Trump had sort of invited himself to a party that the United Kingdom didn't even know it was going to throw.

A less popular rival petition in support of the visit, signed by 300,000 people, was also considered.

The debate, hosted in a packed side room of parliament rather than the main debating chamber, gave lawmakers a platform to air their views on Trump.

MP Paul Flynn said only two USA presidents have been granted a state visit since 1952, but within seven days of Trump becoming president he had been invited to a state visit. Thousands of them were there, in front of the Parliament and asked to say no to Trump and racism.

Calls for the state visit to be cancelled have been backed by London mayor Sadiq Khan, who hit out at the president's "cruel and shameful" policies.

Labour Party legislator Tulip Siddiq said Trump should not be allowed to spread "his bigotry, his misogyny, his division" in Britain. According to history, only two U.S. Presidents were given the privilege to attend the state visits, which include George W. Bush in 2003 and Barack Obama in 2011.

"We can't afford to be isolated and stand there alone", said Tory MP Simon Burns in support of Trump's visit, fearing that the country post-Brexit may soon lack any extremely powerful allies.

Labour MP Paul Flynn, who called the debate, said: "Outside, we have a Greek chorus of disapproval!"

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"We didn't do this for Kennedy, we didn't do this for Truman, we didn't do this for Reagan, but for this man, after seven days, we say please come and we will lay on everything because we are so desperate for your company". "With Donald Trump, you don't have to look into a crystal ball, you can read the book", she said. "I'm ashamed, frankly, that it has come to this".

Gainsborough MP, Sir Edward Leigh, said: "There are two ways in which those who agree that the state visit should go ahead can approach the debate". I for one believe that our Prime Minister's visit was an absolute triumph not only in furthering our national self-interest but by binding President Trump and his new Administration to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

"Personally, I think Theresa May is doing a great job, I think she's doing the right thing by having him over here, we should try and ally ourselves with the leader of the free world, who has been democratically voted by his country, we should respect that and honour it and I think he is doing his best".

The Queen has seen 109 state visits in her 65 years on the throne, including from controversial figures ranging from Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe, to Indonesia's Suharto, to Italy's Silvio Berlusconi.

But David Lammy opposed the state visit.

"The visit should happen".

The British government has already formally rejected the petition to downgrade or withdraw the invitation. One MP mentioned the visit by Hirohito, who presided over the rape of Nanking before World War II, as someone whose transgressions were obviously much worse than the "Access Hollywood" tape. For the example, the House of Commons.

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