World View The Queen ‘set to in­vite Don­ald Trump to Bri­tain’

Fiji Sun - - Comment - LAURA HUGHES Feed­back: jy­otip@fi­

Don­ald Trump will re­ceive an in­vi­ta­tion to meet with the Queen in the sum­mer of next year, ac­cord­ing to re­ports. Min­is­ters be­lieve the Queen is their “se­cret weapon” and Theresa May will use the state visit to help strengthen the “spe­cial re­la­tion­ship” be­tween Bri­tain and the United States.

The US pres­i­dent-elect re­port­edly told the Prime Min­is­ter dur­ing a phone call last week that his late Scot­tish mother had been a “big fan” of the Queen. The Sun­day Times re­ports that plans to roll out the red car­pet and of­fer Mr Trump a meet­ing with the Queen are now be­ing drawn up in White­hall. A for­mal in­vi­ta­tion will be made af­ter he is sworn in as pres­i­dent on Jan­uary 20. A source who had dis­cussed the is­sue with a Cabi­net min­is­ter said: “The gov­ern­ment has de­cided that their se­cret weapon to get in with Mr Trump is to of­fer him an early visit to the Queen, him and [his wife] Me­la­nia stay­ing at Wind­sor Cas­tle.” An­other cabi­net source said: “The Queen is the key here. She’s not a se­cret weapon, she’s the biggest pub­lic weapon you have. Nigel Farage can’t get [Trump] in front of the Queen.” Mrs May will hope to take ad­van­tage of Mr Trump’s af­fec­tion for the Queen and seek to strike a free trade deal with the US. An early visit to the UK from Mr Trump would also al­low Mrs May to deny claims that Nigel Farage has closer ties with the Repub­li­can bil­lion­aire. Num­ber 10 has dis­missed sug­ges­tions that the in­terim Ukip leader might be­come the “third per­son” in the re­la­tion­ship be­tween the two world lead­ers, in­sist­ing that the Gov­ern­ment al­ready has “well-es­tab­lished” chan­nels of com­mu­ni­ca­tion. A visit from Mr Trump would also pro­vide a po­ten­tial op­por­tu­nity to warm up the ap­par­ently anti-global trade pres­i­dent-elect over the idea of a post-Brexit trade deal. A Down­ing Street spokesper­son said: “No visit has been or­gan­ised but the Prime Min­is­ter is look­ing for­ward to wel­com­ing the pres­i­dent-elect to the UK when he chooses to visit.” A Buck­ing­ham Palace spokesper­son added: “State vis­its and other meet­ings with over­seas heads of state are or­gan­ised on the ad­vice of the gov­ern­ment.”

Queen El­iz­a­beth II.

US Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump.

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