President Donald Trump began a protest-laden trip to Britain yesterday by questioning whether Prime Minister Theresa May will deliver on United Kingdom voters’ intentions when they decided to quit the European Union.
The convention-shredding US president ignored diplomatic niceties ahead of touching down for the four-day visit, his first to Britain since taking power by rebuking his beleaguered host as she battles to stop her government falling apart over Brexit.
“The people voted to break it up (Britain’s ties with the EU),” Trump said in Brussels following a NATO summit there just before flying to London. “So I would imagine that’s what they will do, but maybe they will take a little bit of a different route. I don’t know (if) that is what they voted for,” he added.
Asked about Trump’s remarks while also in Brussels, May said: “What we are doing is delivering on the vote of the British people… that’s what our proposal does.” The president and First Lady Melania Trump landed at Stansted Airport from where they were whisked by helicopter to Winfield House, the American diplomatic residence.
At a welcoming garden party, the Beatles track “We can work it out” played in the background.
Trump is set to largely avoid mass protests planned for his controversial trip, which includes talks with May, tea with Queen Elizabeth II and a private weekend in Scotland.
Before arriving he shrugged off the organised demonstrations, which on Friday will include a giant baby-shaped balloon bearing Trump’s features and have required police to be mobilised from across the country.
“They like me a lot in the UK,” he added in Brussels. But some 77 percent of Britons have an unfavourable view of Trump, according to a poll by YouGov with 1,648 respondents. Amnesty International yesterday unveiled a 15-metre banner on Vauxhall bridge opposite the US Embassy branding him a “Human Rights Nightmare”. London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who signed off on the so-called “Trump Baby” blimp, defended the decision Thursday, arguing the protests were not anti-American.
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Author: Tokunbo David