US trade deal a "major priority" for Trump, says US ambassador

US trade deal a

US trade deal a "major priority" for Trump, says US ambassador

The visit comes at a testing time: May is battling to make a success of Brexit and keep her minority government together, while Trump is challenging Western assumptions about free trade and turning away from global institutions.

Tens of thousands of people are set to take their disapproval of the U.S. president to the streets of London during the visit.

A barrage of nationwide protests will greet US President Donald Trump's four-day trip to Britain from Thursday, with organisers hoping to stage one of the country's biggest demonstrations in decades following a series of diplomatic spats.

Prime Minister Theresa May is responsible for the affair, having invited Trump for a formal state visit - an opulent opportunity that features a trip in an open carriage through central London and a delightful banquet at Buckingham Palace - when she visited him in January of 2017 following his inauguration.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who has sparred with Trump online over combating terrorism, has permitted the floating blimp for two hours Friday morning.

In the evening, May will host a black-tie dinner for Trump at the stately home that will be attended by about 100 business leaders from industries including finance, pharmaceuticals, defence and technology.

The closest he will come to the protests will be for a short overnight stay at the U.S. ambassador's residence in London on Thursday night.

On Friday, Trump and May will visit an undisclosed location to witness a display by British soldiers. They will then travel to Chequers, May's country retreat, for bilateral talks on a range of foreign policy issues.

A simple "no thank you" has already arrived from a few guests, including Martha Lane Fox, co-founder of Lastminute.com, who told the Financial Times: "I understand why the government have to entertain Trump, but I certainly don't want to".

He was severely criticised last November, including by Prime Minister Theresa May, after sharing three inflammatory anti-Muslim videos posted by far-right group Britain First. Blenheim is famed as the birthplace of Winston Churchill.

The event will begin with a military ceremony in the Great Court of the Palace, where the bands of the Scots, Irish and Welsh Guards will play the Liberty Fanfare, Amazing Grace, and the National Emblem.

The dinner, where Trump will be accompanied by First Lady Melania Trump, will be preceded by a military ceremony and guests will include British and USA business leaders.

"We're looking forward to making sure the President has a chance to see and experience the United Kingdom beyond London and the South-East".

On Saturday, Mrs May and Mr Trump will visit an unnamed defence site to view a demonstration of UK military capabilities, with a strong stress on integrated UK-US military training.

Instead the president will be whisked off for a tour of some of England's most impressive historic buildings before departing for Scotland for a relaxing weekend, part of which is expected to be spent on the golf course.

A news conference will follow the talks.

Later on Friday, Trump and his wife will travel to Windsor Castle to meet Queen Elizabeth.

The president and first lady will fly on Friday evening to Scotland.

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