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Activists threaten protests as Trump to visit the UK in July

By BBC

US President Donald Trump is to visit the UK on Friday 13 July, after previously cancelling a trip amid claims he would face mass protests.

It will not be the full-blown state visit Trump was promised when Prime Minister Theresa May visited the White House in January last year.

But an invitation to a state visit still stands, the BBC understands.

He will hold bilateral talks with May, Downing Street said, with further details to be “set out in due course”.

‘Unity over division’

The July date follows the Nato summit in Brussels which the president is expected to attend.

Downing Street and the White House had hoped to co-ordinate releasing details of the trip, but Mr Trump’s spokeswoman Sarah Sanders apparently let slip the information first.

UK ambassador Sir Kim Darroch confirmed the date on Twitter, saying he was “delighted” that Mr Trump would visit the UK.

Trump cancelled a planned trip to London to open the new US embassy in Vauxhall earlier this year, complaining the move to an “off location” south of the Thames had been a “bad deal”.

But critics said his decision may have been driven by a fear of protests.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson tweeted that it was “fantastic” news that Trump would “at last” be visiting Britain.

Reacting to the announcement of his July visit, Kate Allen, Amnesty International UK’s director, said: “When Donald Trump arrives on these shores, we and thousands of our supporters will very definitely be making our voices heard.”

More than 29,000 people on Facebook have already said they will attend a protest organised by left-wing journalist Owen Jones.

Macron visit

Theresa May was the first foreign leader to visit Trump in the White House following his inauguration in January 2017.

She conveyed an invitation from the Queen for Trump to come for a state visit – a formal occasion with much pomp and ceremony. Trump accepted the invitation but a date has yet to be set, amid speculation it has been postponed indefinitely.

Plans for a working visit to the UK in 2018 were announced when Trump met Mrs May at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January.

The high-profile state visit to Washington DC of French President Emmanuel Macron this week – and his apparent warm relationship with the president – has led to speculation about the state of the so-called special relationship between Britain and the US.

BBC North America editor Jon Sopel said Mrs May would have lots of business to discuss with Mr Trump, from the framework of a future trade deal to his plans for tariffs on steel and aluminium.

But he added, after Mr Macron’s visit – and with German Chancellor Angela Merkel flying in for a US visit on Thursday – the “optics” of such a visit were important and Britain would not want to get left behind.