A STATE VISIT
The Somerset Guardian, 1st May 2019
This week, it has been announced that President Trump will make a state visit to the United Kingdom. The President and his wife, Melania, will be received by the Queen at Buckingham Palace between 3rd and 5th June.
A visit by any head of state is not just a ceremonial event, it also offers the government a chance to discuss political matters of national interest. President Trump’s stay is particularly timely given our withdrawal from the European Union and will offer the Prime Minister the opportunity to discuss the relationship – and any possible deal – between the U.K. and the United States of America post-Brexit.
Even though the U.S. has special relationships with many countries it is important that these links, which were consolidated during Mrs. Thatcher’s administration, are preserved. The U.S. is the most powerful nation and as one of our closest allies we must use this to our advantage.
Naturally, there is professional outrage about Mr. Trump’s visit. Many on the left view themselves as participants in the American political system and engage in U.S. affairs in a way that they do not do for other countries. However, the political system in the U.S. is different and his politics should not matter. Mr. Trump is being invited here as a democratically-elected president and ought to be much more welcome than the many dictators that Her Majesty has had to entertain during her reign.
Recently, I was fortunate to have lunch with the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi. It was fascinating to talk about the current state of affairs to her, in spite of our opposing ideologies. A different perspective is not always the enemy that some people think it is.