Historically Great Britain and the United States have had an advantageous and friendly relationship. Great Britain has been one of our closest allies in the fight against terrorism and most everything else. But the President recently took a hit from members of British Parliament who attacked him during their session.
British Prime Minister Theresa May extended an official invitation for a visit to the new President. However, Parliament is not sending out any such invitation. UK House of Commons Speaker John Bercow made comments on Monday that he would vehemently block the President from speaking in front of Parliament during his visit.
Numerous prior Presidents have spoken before Parliament in the past. Bercow cited the President’s executive order on immigration and refugees, as well as, administrative racism and sexism as the reason why he strongly opposes Trump addressing the MPs of Westminster Hall. He stated,
“Before the imposition of the migrant ban, I would myself have been strongly opposed to an address by President Trump in Westminster Hall. After the imposition of the migrant ban I am even more strongly opposed to an address by President Trump in Westminster Hall. I would not wish to issue an invitation to President Trump. I feel very strongly that our opposition to racism and to sexism and our support for equality before the law and an independent judiciary are hugely important considerations in the House of Commons.”
The Speaker does not have the power to block Trump from visiting his country but he has stated he believes the new Prime Minister should rethink and rescind her invitation. He insisted that speaking with Parliament is not an automatic right but an earned honor while also stressing the valuable relationship between England and the United States.
The Independent reported,
“parts of the Commons erupted into rare spontaneous applause in support of Mr. Bercow’s statement.”
Unlike Congress in the United States the Speaker of Great Britain’s lower house in the House of Commons is a non-partisan position. Their function is to maintain parliamentary order and he or she is elected by their fellow MPs. The Speaker and two other key members of British government would have to OK the President’s speech. He explained,
“In relation to Westminster Hall, there are three key-holders … the speaker of the House of Commons, the Speaker of the House of Lords and the lord great chamberlain, and ordinarily we are able to work by consensus and the hall would be used for a purpose such as an address, by agreement of the three key-holders.”
If there is a deadlock than the President is simply out of luck and won’t be able to give any speech. As a result Prime Minister May is receiving widespread backlash as politicians are encouraging her to rescind the invitation. Specifically, Jeremy Corbyn of the Labour Party has called for the President to be banned from coming.
Even if they do allow the President to speak it is unknown how the President and his administration would respond. President Trump does not take kindly to criticism or those who are flip floppers. Thus, even if he was extended an invitation the likelihood of him accepting it is slim to none. It very well could be a moot point.
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