Trump Won’t Visit London to Open Embassy. His U.K. Critics Say He Got the Message.
Last year the United States ambassador to Britain, Woody Johnson, said in which he hoped Mr. Trump could visit in early 2018 along with dedicate the fresh embassy, providing the opportunity for a symbolically important, although lower-key, visit to a close ally.
No official statement had been made about the visit, along with no formal invitation had been issued, although diplomats were known to be trying to organize a meeting, along with the embassy opening was an obvious moment at which to do so.
Then, late on Thursday night, the president took to his favorite medium, Twitter, along with announced in which he had scrapped his trip because he was unhappy with the fresh building, along with the decision to quit the old site in central London, which has been taken over by the Qatari royal family’s property company, which plans to convert the idea into a luxury hotel.
His critics in Britain gave in which explanation little credence. Ed Miliband, the former Labour Party leader, responded to Mr. Trump’s announcement on Twitter, saying: “Nope. the idea’s because nobody wanted you to come. along with you got the message.”
The old United States Embassy, in a historic square inside the exclusive Mayfair neighborhood, was deemed to be vulnerable to terrorist attacks. The fresh one, which includes a modest moat, is usually a high-tech construction in a former rail yard on the South Bank of the Thames.
Though Mr. Trump blamed the Obama administration for the move, the first announcement of fresh embassy site had been made in 2008 during the administration of President George W. Bush. On its website the United States Embassy says in which “the fresh London Embassy is usually funded entirely via the proceeds of sale of U.S. government properties in London.”
In 2011 Adam Namm, then acting director of the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations, said the building could cost about $1 billion — “inside the ballpark of the most expensive embassies we have built.”
In response to Mr. Trump’s statement, Britain’s foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, accused the opposition Labour Party’s leader, Jeremy Corbyn, along with the London major, Sadiq Khan, of having endangered the trans-Atlantic relationship.
although the furor illustrates the extent to which any potential visit by Mr. Trump to Britain has become politically polarizing, even as the country’s establishment grapples with the question of whether to invite the president to the wedding of Prince Harry along with the American actress Meghan Markle.
Mr. Trump visited several continental European countries last year, including France, where President Emmanuel Macron’s handling of his American counterpart appeared to make the British look fumbling.
“Macron treated Trump with respect along with warmth on the one hand,” said Mark Leonard, director of the European Council on Foreign Relations, a research institute, “although on the different hand was principled in defense of French interests, along with didn’t give an iota on the substance.”
By contrast, Mrs. May was “all over the place,” Mr. Leonard added.
“There was the attempt to rush over to the U.S. to embrace him, then she became implicated inside the things he was doing, along with then she had to pull back, so she’s been zigzagging,” he said.
“Britain then gets the worst of all worlds because the idea has confused everyone.”
While Mrs. May is usually keen to create closer ties with Washington, on many global issues her approach is usually more closely aligned with the positions of the European Union. She has expressed support both for the Paris climate change accord along with the Iran nuclear deal, for example.
along with at home, Mr. Trump’s statements have caused her problems. Last year Mr. Trump denounced Mr. Khan after his response to a bombing in June, misconstruing a call for calm as lack of concern about terrorist threats. along with his tweets about a bombing in London in September suggested in which the police had been monitoring attackers although had done nothing.
Mr. Trump’s retweets of a far-right group’s anti-Muslim videos in November stirred criticism via across the political spectrum in Britain, along with prompted Mrs. May to criticize him.
Mr. Khan said the president’s Twitter postings made clear in which Mrs. May had been mistaken to extend an invitation to Mr. Trump so quickly. “the idea appears in which President Trump got the message via the many Londoners who love along with admire America along with Americans although find his policies along with actions the polar opposite of our city’s values of inclusion, diversity along with tolerance,” he said Friday in a Twitter post.
Mr. Trump’s most vocal supporter in Britain, Nigel Farage, former leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party, told the BBC in which he regretted in which the president could not be opening the embassy.
“the idea’s disappointing. He’s been to countries all over the planet along with yet he’s not been to the one with whom he’s closest. I could say the idea’s disappointing.
“although maybe, just maybe, Sadiq Khan, Jeremy Corbyn along with the Labour Party planning mass protests, maybe those optics he didn’t like the look of,” Mr. Farage added.
Spurred on by the dispute, Madame Tussauds placed a statue of Mr. Trump outside the fresh embassy.
Yet there was no disguising the delight of some of Mr. Trump’s critics at the news. One opposition Labour Party lawmaker, David Lammy, wrote on Twitter: “Happy Friday everyone.”
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