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Trump UK visit - LIVE: Theresa May calls for close trade ties with US as president warns Brexit plan would ‘kill’ deal

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Trump arrives at Blenheim Palace for dinner with Theresa May

Donald Trump has arrived in the UK to meet with Theresa May and the Queen on a four-day “working visit”. Air Force One touched down at Stansted Airport shortly before 2pm on Thursday and Mr Trump spent his first evening at a black tie event in Blenheim Palace.

The US president will largely avoid London during his time in the country as mass protests are expected against his “zero-tolerance” approach to immigration and divisive rhetoric.

Mr Trump has already ruffled feathers this week at a Nato summit in Brussels and is unlikely to escape further controversy while in Britain.

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Good morning and welcome to The Independent's live blog. Follow us here for the baby-blimp highs and the diplomatic lows.

Harriet Agerholm12 July 2018 08:51

The US President has a busy schedule for the next few days. This is what's coming up:


  • Mr Trump will arrive into Stansted airport around lunchtime, fresh from the Nato summit in Brussels.
  • The President and First Lady will greet people at the US Embassy in London.
  • The couple will attend a black-tie dinner at the Grade I-listed Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire hosted by Theresa May. Other guests are set to include leaders from business sectors, celebrating the business links between the UK and US.
  • Mr Trump and his wife will spend Thursday night at Winfield House in Regent's Park, which is the US Ambassador's residence in London.


  • Mr Trump will meet again with the prime minister and will visit to a defence site.
  • The two leaders will then travel to Chequers, the Prime Minister's country house, for what is being billed as “substantive bilateral talks on a range of foreign policy issues” during a working lunch.
  • Mr Trump will meet the Queen at Windsor Castle. The Queen and Mr Trump will inspect the Guard of Honour before watching the military march past. Then, the couple will join the Queen for tea.
  • Mr Trump will head to Scotland for the weekend. He will be welcomed by David Mundell, the Secretary of State for Scotland.


  • Mr Trump is believed to be spending the weekend playing golf at his Turnberry resort in South Ayrshire, which he bought in 2014, although there has been no official confirmation of his plans.


  • President Trump and the First Lady are expected to leave the country.
Harriet Agerholm12 July 2018 09:07

As Mr Trump makes his way towards British shores it has emerged Stormy Daniels – the adult film star at the centre of allegations against the President – has been arrested. More about that here:

Harriet Agerholm12 July 2018 09:39

Theresa May has warned Donald Trump not to ignore the “malign behaviour” of Russia ahead of his visit with President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki.

Downing Street insisted the prime minister welcomed Mr Trump's decision to “engage” with the Russian leader in the Finnish capital on Monday.

But she also made clear she expected him to raise to raise the novichok attacks in Wiltshire.

Harriet Agerholm12 July 2018 09:57

The president is set to dine with around 150 business leaders at Blenheim Palace, the family home of Sir Winston Churchill, in Oxfordshire today. 

Some leaders have refused the invitation, however.

Harriet Agerholm12 July 2018 10:00

Donald Trump will be accompanied by as many as 1,000 staff, a motorcade and multiple helicopters during his UK trip.

His extensive entourage is made up of the following:

Air Force One

The US leader will emerge from Air Force One — a specially modified Boeing 747-200s. The aircraft has 4,000 square feet of floor space, including a Presidential suite with an office and conference room, a medical suite that can be used as an operating room and two food preparation rooms that can feed 100 people at a time.

The Beast

The presidential motorcade, which includes two limousines and other security and communications vehicle, is brought across by an Air Force transport aircraft.

Mr Trump's primary vehicle is a seven-seat black armoured limousine dubbed "The Beast", which reportedly costs $2m (£1.5m).

It can be turned into a sealed panic room with oxygen tanks, night-vision camera and reinforced steel plating said to be resistant to bullets, chemical attacks and bombs.

Bottles of the president's blood type are carried on board in case of a medical emergency, but the car also features attacking capabilities, such as a pump-action shotgun and a tear gas cannon.

Marine One

A number of presidential helicopters, either VH-3D Sea Kings or VH-60N White Hawks – which are known as Marine One when the president is on board – are also brought on overseas trips.

The Marine One helicopter is fitted with communications equipment, anti-missile defences and hardened hulls.

Staff and security personnel are ferried around in MV-22 Ospreys and CH-46s.


Staff typically involved in an overseas trip include secret service agents, military communications specialists and White House aides.

The president has a White House doctor at his side at all times and one of five rotating military aides who carry the nuclear “football” —equipped with communication tools and a book with prepared war plans.

There is always a group of 13 members of the press on such visits, including three wire reporters, two print reporters, four photographers, a three-person television crew, and a radio reporter.

Harriet Agerholm12 July 2018 10:22

Here's a rundown of where all the protests against the US president will be:

Harriet Agerholm12 July 2018 10:35

The Queen is set to meet Donald Trump tomorrow. She is no stranger to meeting controversial world leaders.

Some of the highlights from over the years include Chinese President Xi Jinping; former King of Saudi Arabia Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud; Russian President Vladimir Putin; Syrian President Bashar al-Assad; and Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe.

Harriet Agerholm12 July 2018 10:54

A convoy of 4x4s has reportedly left London's Regent Park for Stansted airport, where the US President is set to touch down this afternoon.

Harriet Agerholm12 July 2018 11:08

Nato is reportedly holding an emergency session because of the US President's demands for higher spending on defence — more on this soon

Harriet Agerholm12 July 2018 11:09

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