Trump ‘fine’ with protests as UK visit begins

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US President Donald Trump has arrived in the UK, having said he is “fine” about any protests during his visit.

Mr Trump and his wife Melania landed at Stansted on Air Force One at 13:50 BST before a helicopter took them to the US ambassador’s residence in London.

He is due to meet Theresa May, who is seeking a post-Brexit trade deal – days after he said the UK was in “turmoil”.

Extra security is in place to police a number of protests but Mr Trump said he thought Britons “like me a lot”.

Speaking at the Nato summit in Brussels before he arrived, Mr Trump said the UK was a “pretty hot spot right now”.

Mr Trump, who will also spend time with the Queen during his two-day working visit, added: “You see what’s going on throughout the world with immigration… I think that’s why Brexit happened.”

He said “Brexit is Brexit” and the British people “voted to break it up, so I imagine that’s what they’ll do but maybe they’re taking a different route – I don’t know if that is what they voted for”.

Mr Trump has recently been under fire for his own immigration policy, which resulted in the separation of immigrant families.

His visit comes as Mrs May publishes a White Paper setting out a blueprint for the UK’s relations with the EU.

Earlier this week Mr Trump said it was “up to the people” whether she stayed on after two cabinet ministers resigned within hours over her Brexit policy.

Mr Trump travelled from the Nato summit, where he said member countries have agreed to increase their military spending.

The president and his wife will attend a dinner, hosted by Mrs May, at Blenheim Palace – the ancestral home of Sir Winston Churchill – in the evening.

Mrs May said the UK visit would be an opportunity to boost trade links and strengthen co-operation on security.

Along with trade and security links, Downing Street said the other key areas to be discussed between the two leaders included Brexit and the Middle East.

Ahead of Mr Trump’s visit, Mrs May said that when the UK leaves the European Union “there will be no alliance more important in the years ahead”.

Mr Trump had joked earlier this week that his meeting with Vladimir Putin in the Finnish capital Helsinki on Monday “may be the easiest” part of his European trip.

Downing Street insisted Mrs May welcomed Mr Trump’s decision to “engage” with the Russian leader.

But she also warned Mr Trump not to ignore the “malign behaviour” of Russia.

 

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