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Trump to meet May on day two of state visit

Mr Trump and Mrs May held a roundtable business meeting on Tuesday morning Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Mr Trump and Mrs May held a roundtable business meeting on Tuesday morning

US President Donald Trump has said he believes Britain can have a “very very substantial trade deal” with the US after it leaves the EU.

Mr Trump was speaking as he and Prime Minister Theresa May hosted a meeting with business leaders on the second day of his state visit to the UK.

It comes as protests are planned in several UK cities, including a demonstration in Trafalgar Square.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is due to address protesters at the London rally.

The breakfast meeting of British and American business leaders at St James’s Palace was held in a bid to boost trade links.

The Duke of York, Chancellor Phillip Hammond, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the president’s daughter Ivanka Trump also attended.

Image caption Mr Trump was flown to Buckingham Palace on Tuesday before being driven to St James’s Palace

On Monday, Mr Trump praised the “eternal friendship” between the UK and US during a state banquet at Buckingham Palace.

The Queen said the countries were celebrating an alliance which had ensured the “safety and prosperity of both our peoples for decades”.

Christopher Ruddy, chief executive of Newsmax Media and a confidant of the president, told Radio 4’s Today programme he and the rest of Mr Trump’s friends and family were “so impressed” with the palace banquet.

“This is a president that loves brands – and the Queen has the greatest brand in the world,” Mr Ruddy said. “He recognises her importance for America, for the West, how she’s unified Britain for all of these years.”

Mr Ruddy laughed off questions about protesters who believe Mr Trump is racist. He said the president was “super inclusive” and that the allegations were “personal attacks”.

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Media captionHere’s what happened on day one of Donald Trump’s state visit to the UK (tweets not included).
Image copyright Press Association
Image caption Day one of Mr Trump’s visit culminated in a glittering state banquet at Buckingham Palace
Image copyright PA
Image caption Theresa May was among the guests at the banquet

Mrs May, who will stand down as Tory leader on Friday, will later hold talks with Mr Trump in Downing Street. They are expected to discuss a range of issues on which they hold differing views such as climate change and the Chinese firm Huawei’s involvement in building the UK’s 5G network.

Downing Street said there was nothing unusual in the pair not having a formal one-to-one meeting.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt will be among the senior ministers present at the talks.

The PM’s official spokesman said it was “always going to be the case” that the meeting in the Cabinet Room at No 10 would involve the delegations from the two sides rather than just the leaders and there would be “substantial bilateral discussions”.

Analysis: A barometer of political power

By Laura Kuenssberg, BBC political editor

Mr Trump, who relishes baiting those who disagree with him, and taunting the media. Mrs May, who gives the impression she would rather be left alone with her red boxes.

This time that difference is all the greater because the prime minister is on her way out of the door, while the president seeks another term in office.

They will have some discussions on Tuesday certainly. No 10 is expected to urge the White House to take climate change more seriously, and to think carefully about its approach to Iran.

In the other direction, expect the US to raise concerns over involving the Chinese telecoms firm Huawei in developing British infrastructure and, of course, the tentative conversations there have already been about trading after Brexit are likely to continue.

But don’t expect dramatic joint announcements on Tuesday.

If the political outcomes are a barometer of power, the truth is that Theresa May’s is fading – with the US and Donald Trump having at least half an eye on who is coming next.

Read Laura’s full blog here

Thousands of people are expected to join protests against Mr Trump’s visit on Tuesday.

A “national demonstration” in London’s Trafalgar Square will start at 11:00 BST, while protests are also planned in Birmingham, Stoke, Sheffield, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Chester, Leicester, Oxford and Exeter.

Organisers have called for a carnival atmosphere, but a huge police operation is taking place in central London to prevent any disruption to Mr Trump’s trip.

Alex Kenny, who will join the Stand Up To Trump protest in the capital, told BBC Breakfast that Mr Trump’s views are “destabilising and polarising the world”.

“All people representing different strands today are coming together to show people in America that we do stand in opposition – not just to the person, but the ideas and the kind of world view he wants to put forward,” he said.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Tens of thousands of people attended a march and rally during Mr Trump’s visit in 2018
Image copyright TOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty Images
Image caption Members of the Baby Trump Balloon team prepared to fly a blimp in Parliament Square on Tuesday

A six-metre “Trump baby” blimp, depicting the president as a nappy-wearing infant, has made an appearance after first accompanying protesters during the president’s visit in 2018.

Labour leader Mr Corbyn – who boycotted the state dinner – will be joined at the rally by members of other political parties including the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party.

Speaking to the Today programme, shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry said: “If [Mr Trump] wants to see us, we’re more than happy to see him. But we don’t think that it’s appropriate for him to have a state visit… A state visit is an honour, and we don’t think this president deserves an honour.”

Mr Corbyn tweeted that the protest was “an opportunity to stand in solidarity with those [Mr Trump has] attacked in America, around the world and in our own country” including Sadiq Khan.

Just before landing on UK soil on Monday, the US president reignited his political feud with the mayor of London, calling Sadiq Khan a “stone cold loser”.

A spokesman for Mr Khan said the “childish insults should be beneath the president of the United States”.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption The Duchess of Cambridge was escorted into the banquet by US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The banquet was held in the ballroom at Buckingham Palace
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Earlier in the day the American national anthem was played and Mr Trump was invited to inspect the guard of honour

On Monday Mr Trump was welcomed by the Queen and had lunch at Buckingham Palace with senior royals.

The president and first lady then visited Westminster Abbey before having tea at Clarence House with the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall.

At the end of the first day of his trip, Mr Trump praised the “eternal friendship” between the UK and US during a state banquet at Buckingham Palace.

The Queen said the countries were celebrating an alliance which had ensured the “safety and prosperity of both our peoples for decades”.

The president’s visit coincides with the commemorations for the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings, which the Queen, Mr Trump and other heads of state will attend at Portsmouth on Wednesday.


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