President Donald Trump has been called a “threat to our world order” and unworthy of a state visit to the United Kingdom, according to the UK’s Shadow Secretary of State Emily Thornberry, The Independent reports. Thornberry’s comments come in response to Trump moving to withdraw the United States from the international Arms Trade Treaty, in which she described Trump’s action on the treaty as “the final confirmation that he is not the leader of the free world.”
The condemnation comes as part of a broader conversation related to Trump’s repeatedly-delayed trip to the UK for an official state visit. Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn struck a similar tone as he vowed to boycott a banquet planned for Trump, criticizing what he called Theresa May’s kowtowing to a president who “rips up vital international treaties”.
On Friday, Trump indicated that he would be “taking our signature back” from the international Arms Trade Treaty, which was signed by Barack Obama in 2013. Trump’s statement about the treaty was made at an annual gathering of the National Rifle Association. In his speech to attendees, the president resoundingly condemned the treaty, characterizing it as an affront to American sovereignty and evoking images of “foreign bureaucrats” aiming to limit American gun rights.
To date, more than 100 countries have joined the treaty, which regulates international trade in weapons including small arms, tanks, combat aircraft, and warships. The treaty was developed within the United Nations and while it was signed by Obama, it has not been ratified by the U.S. Congress.
Trump’s withdrawal from the treaty is largely consistent with his handling of a number of similar agreements. He has likewise pulled the U.S. from the Paris climate change agreement, the Iran nuclear deal, and an Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia.
Labour's Emily Thornberry says Donald Trump's state visit will all be a "giant waste of taxpayers money" unless the government can reach a #Brexit deal that paves the way for a US trade deal, by resolving the Irish border issue#PMQs updates: https://t.co/WGqFPm8RRA pic.twitter.com/ftYoBm4fUY
— BBC Politics (@BBCPolitics) April 24, 2019
Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable also weighed in on rescinding Trump’s invite for a state visit.
“It is a stain on the Conservative government that they have invited this president for all the pomp and circumstance of a state visit,” he said. “He is playing a negative role on the international stage – the visit should be cancelled.”
The three-day visit, which is planned for June, remains on the docket in the face of political and public protest. Demonstrators have vowed to make the experience as unpleasant and disruptive as possible for the president.
As part of the trip, Trump is scheduled to participate in bilateral talks with May at Downing Street and attend a white-tie dinner banquet hosted by the Queen at Buckingham Palace.