Trump State Visit Debate Gives UK Lawmakers Time to Sound Off

Trump State Visit Debate Gives UK Lawmakers Time to Sound Off

A slogan reading "Say no to Trump" is seen projected on the Houses of Parliament, the evening before a parliamentary debate on Donald Trump's state visit is due to take place, on February 19, 2017 in London, England.

A petition to block Donald Trump over his so-called "Muslim ban" has garnered 1.8 million signatures, way above the 100,000 mark needed to be considered for a debate in parliament.

"They argued that a state visit planned for later this year will demean the United Kingdom and Queen Elizabeth II, the president's official host", the AP reports.

A competing petition, also to be debated today, says Trump should be invited for a state visit, "because he is the leader of a free world and a country that supports free speech".

Members of Parliament will spend up to three hours discussing a petition calling for the visit to be downgraded because of Trump's "well-documented misogyny and vulgarity".

British MPs lined up on Monday to pour scorn on a "racist and sexist" Donald Trump, who they said should not be allowed to come to Britain for a state visit because of the risk it would embarrass the Queen.

The heated exchange saw Tory lawmakers attempting to fend off ferocious attacks against Trump by left-wing MPs from Labour Party, Green Party and Scottish National Party (SNP).

This is where they will take place...

Outlook: The state visit nearly certainly won't be canceled but there's talk that it may be postponed until 2020, to mark the 400th anniversary of the voyage of the Mayflower.

He is not the first USA president to be accorded a full state visit to Britain, traditionally including a horse-drawn-carriage ride with the queen and a formal banquet at Buckingham Palace.

The Stop Trump coalition is coordinating dozens of protests nationwide along with the One Day Without Us movement, which will celebrate the contribution of immigrants to British society.

Opening the debate, the veteran Labour MP Paul Flynn compared the US President to a "petulant child" as he urged ministers to avoid repeating past mistakes when "very unsavoury characters" made state visits. "Are these reasons why we should be granting him a state visit?"

A spokesperson said: "St Davids may be small but there are plenty of people in the area who object to Trump's policies, and our government's eager readiness to appease him".

Countering, Conservative MP Nigel Evans told opponents of the President to "get over it", adding 2016 had been a "seismic year in many ways for those of us in this room who actually believe in democracy. I'm ashamed, frankly, that it has come to this". Dubbed One Day Without Us, the day of action is meant to highlight the role that migrants play in the UK's society and culture amid a surge of anti-immigrant sentiment and hate crimes that has coincided with the rise of far-right leaders like Trump and May. 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.

House of Commons Speaker John Bercow caused controversy earlier this month when he broke with a tradition of neutrality by saying that he was opposed to Trump addressing both Houses of Parliament during his visit.

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