EuropeNorth America

Insane Donald Trump’s £40m visit to UK angers Britons

The operation to protect the President and his entourage of at least 1,000 people includes policing the 250,000 protesters set to take to the streets to show their fury at the red carpet being rolled out for him.

Up to 10,000 officers will be drafted into Central London, leaving places across Britain without the “service they deserve”.

Police warn the three-day visit starting today will put an “enormous strain on an already overstretched service”, adding Theresa May is “personally responsible”.

There was even more dismay yesterday as Woody Johnson, the US ambassador to the UK, said he thinks the involvement of American firms in British healthcare would be “on the table” as part of a post-Brexit trade deal between the two nations.

Shadow Health Secretary Jon Ashworth said: “The ambassador’s comments are terrifying, and show a real consequence of a no-deal Brexit , followed by a trade deal with Trump, will be our NHS up for sale. This absolutely should not be on the table.”

Downing Street said: “The NHS is not for sale and never will be.”

But Lib Dem MP Sir Ed Davey said: “The US ambassador let the cat out of the bag. Our NHS is indeed up for sale under the Conservatives.” Trump’s visit will start in style with lunch with the Queen at Buckingham Palace, and later a state banquet there.

Scotland Yard will deploy numerous helicopters, snipers and firearms officers to watch over the US leader.

Sniffer dogs will be in action to detect explosives and guns. Roads near the Palace will be closed to create a “secure zone”, and barricades will be in Whitehall to prevent protesters marching past Downing Street.

Marine units from Hampshire police and armed Ministry of Defense police are expected to secure the waterfront in Portsmouth, Hants, when the President is there for the D-Day anniversary commemorations.

A security source said: “The cost of the state visit has ballooned in recent weeks to an estimate in excess of £40 million.

“Police sources will be appealing to central government to meet the cost or forces will face being crippled by the massive dent to their budgets.”

John Apter, National Chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: “The presidential visit will put an enormous strain on an already over-stretched police service. Officers are being deployed from all over the country.

“Officers are working extended shifts and having leave and rest days cancelled in order to cope.

“There are not enough officers to meet the day-to-day pressures on policing, so this on top of the norm is a huge ask. Despite these pressures my colleagues will pull out all the stops.

“This operation will rely on… officers being redeployed from their towns and cities, which means the public will not get the service they deserve.

“This is not a sustainable situation and one I hold this Prime Minister personally responsible for. When it comes to policing her legacy is nothing to be proud of.”

The security operation will be bigger than for Trump’s “working trip” to the UK last year which largely avoided London where there were massive protests.

Estimates put the policing cost for the visit last July at about £18million. Trump brought an entourage of at least 1,000 – including White House staff and Secret Service officers – that time.

The total is likely to increase this time with the addition on the trip of his adult children – Ivanka, Donald Jr, Eric and Tiffany.

Trump is due to arrive at 8.50am on Air Force One and will travel around the UK by air and motorcade, including in his £1.2million limousine, The Beast.

The President and wife Melania will stay at Winfield House, the US Ambassador’s residence in London.

Trump was not invited to stay at Buckingham Palace because of ongoing renovation there.

Prince Andrew is to be deployed to accompany the US leader for two of the three days in the hope that conversations about golf might prevent any diplomatic disagreements from flaring up.

(Source: The Mirror)

Back to top button