I’ve been contacted by a number of constituents ahead of President Donald Trump’s visit to the UK later this week. I am of course aware that vast numbers of people are intending to protest the President’s visit and I absolutely stand by them.
Like many of you I have huge concerns not only about President Trump’s policies and behaviour, but also about the position our own Government has taken (or failed to take) in relation them.
As you may remember, the Prime Minister announced that President Trump had been invited to visit the UK just one week after he took office in January 2017. On the very same day, he signed an executive order on immigration and refugees which was divisive and in breach of international agreements.
As time has gone on, the Government’s strategy of offering President Trump a state visit in order to try and influence and shape his policies has clearly failed. He has destabilised multilateral agreements, pulled the USA out of the Paris Climate Change Agreement and the Iran nuclear deal and imposed tariffs on British steel and aluminium. Most heinously, his policies also resulted in thousands of child immigrants being separated from their parents and held in cages. There is no justification for such inhumane treatment. Trump has now signed an executive order to end the family separations – but has also stated that his administration would continue its “zero tolerance policy” of criminally prosecuting anyone who crosses the border illegally.
I strongly believe that the Government was wrong to recommend a state visit for President Trump and I think it is entirely inappropriate that it is still going ahead in spite of the President’s recent actions. We should not stand by and ignore policies like these from one of our allies, and certainly should not be rolling out the red carpet for any state leader holding such opinions. Trump’s shameful policies and spread of hatred and division goes against the values we stand for and the multicultural community in Lewisham we are a proud to be a part of.