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Thousands of people protest against Trump’s visit to Britain
12:03, 21 February 2017
Thousands of people protest against Trump’s visit to Britain

The protesters are angered by the intolerant attitude of the US President

12:03, 21 February 2017

Reuters

The British government on February 20 defended its decision to offer the US President Donald Trump a state visit and an audience with the queen, defying protests outside parliament and dissent from lawmakers. This was reported by Reuters.

Prime Minister Theresa May's government wants to reaffirm the "special relationship" with the United States and secure a trade deal as Britain prepares to leave the European Union.

"In the light of America's absolutely pivotal role we believe it entirely right that we should use all the tools at our disposal to build common ground with President Trump," junior foreign minister Alan Duncan told parliament.

He described state visits as Britain's "most important diplomatic tool", saying Trump's trip would go ahead as planned.

Related: White House may rewrite immigration order or issue a new one

The visit has spurred 1.8 million people in Britain to sign a petition saying he should not be given a state visit because it could embarrass Queen Elizabeth.

As parliament debated that petition on Monday - a symbolic discussion which has no power to force the government to withdraw its invitation - around 7,000 protesters gathered outside with placards bearing slogans such as "Dump Trump, Fight Bigotry".

Related: US Court of Appeals rejected Trump’s attempt to reinstate immigration order

Since taking office in January, Trump has sparked global protests over plans to ban migrants from seven Muslim-majority countries, and from women activists who call him misogynistic. While Trump says his immigration orders are to protect the United States and that his opponents have misrepresented his intentions.

Earlier it was reported that Trump suspended immigration program for 120 days. The decree of the President of the United States also calls for an immediate suspension of immigration for citizens of seven countries.

Then the court dismissed Trump’s request to re-establish immigration order. The court gave Trump’s administration a deadline until Monday evening to submit their objection.

Related: US Department of Justice appealed court’s decision on halting immigration order

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