Donald Trump could make a snap visit to the UK in the next two weeks, despite his formal state visit having been postponed last month due to fears it would be disrupted by large-scale protests.
The US president is making a trip to Europe next week to attend the G20 summit in Hamburg next weekend and Bastille Day celebrations in France on 14th July, and the UK government has been warned that he may visit Turnberry, his golf resort in Scotland, during his visit, The Guardian reported. He would also be expected to meet Prime Minister Theresa May for ‘informal talks’ in Downing Street.
Trump still seems keen to dodge protests, though, as final confirmation of his visit could be given with as little as 24 hours’ notice, to minimise the risk of mass demonstrations.
Back in February, anti-Trump protesters including the Stop Trump coalition vowed to hold the largest ever protests in UK history if the president makes a state visit to the country. Now, many have already said they’re prepared to drop everything and mobilise against a snap visit.
Guardian columnist and Stop Trump protestor Owen Jones tweeted on Sunday urging people to retweet him if they were “willing to commit to protesting this bigot at short notice”. The tweet has garnered close to 14,000 retweets and more than 17,000 likes at the time of writing.
Many more people reacted similarly on social media, pledging to take to the streets against Trump.
Charities and other campaign groups also said they hope Trump stays far away from UK soil. "Any attempt to sneak him into the country and offer Trump a veneer of respectability for his divisive and reactionary policies will be utterly rejected," the charity War on Want told the Daily Mail, adding that his “bigotry and hatred… [are] not welcome here".
Shaista Aziz, founder of The Everyday Bigotry Project, said Trump "is not fit to hold the office of the US presidency and he's absolutely not welcome in the UK – through the back door or on an official state visit."
A spokesperson for the anti-racism group Hope Not Hate called Trump "one of the most divisive Presidents in living memory", citing his travel ban on Muslims, his constant attacking of the media, and his views on women, migrants and other vulnerable communities, as reasons why he shouldn't visit the UK.
"He has proven himself an unwelcome friend to the UK and we hope he stays far from our shores," they told The Independent.