UK government rebuffs petition to downgrade Trump's visit

Story highlights

  • More than 1.8 million people signed the petition to downgrade Trump's UK visit
  • State visit means a banquet at Buckingham Palace and a ride in Queen's carriage

London (CNN)The British government has formally rejected the online petition calling for President Donald Trump's state visit to the UK to be canceled or downgraded.

In a statement from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office posted Tuesday on the petition's web page, the government said it "recognizes the strong views expressed by the many signatories of this petition, but does not support this petition."
The statement added that the invitation, which Prime Minister Theresa May extended to President Trump during her visit to Washington last month, "reflects the importance of the relationship between the United States of America and the United Kingdom."

    No date fixed yet

    Final dates for Trump's visit have yet to be agreed, but the Foreign Office reply to the petition confirmed "HM Government believes the President of the United States should be extended the full courtesy of a State Visit. We look forward to welcoming President Trump once dates and arrangements are finalized."
    The petition attracted over 1.8 million signatures, easily crossing the 100,000 signature threshold required for it to be debated in Parliament.

    Embarrassment to Queen

    The petition stopped short of calling for a ban on Trump's proposed UK visit but said he "should not be invited to make an official State Visit because it would cause embarrassment to Her Majesty the Queen."
    The Government was compelled to reply to the petition, which recognized Trump's right to come to the UK because it garnered more
    than 10,000 signatures.
    Downing Street protest on January 30 against US President Donald Trump.
    MPs are scheduled to debate the petition in the House of Commons on Monday.
    They will also debate a rival 310,000-strong petition in support of the state visit after they both reached the 100,000 signatures threshold t