UK government reject calls for Trump's state visit to be canceled

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U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May has formally rejected a petition urging the British government to cancel a planned state visit by U.S. President Donald Trump.

Almost two million people signed the petition entitled "Prevent Donald Trump from making a State Visit to the United Kingdom". The creators of the petition argued it would cause embarrassment to Her Majesty The Queen.

"HM Government believes the President of the United States should be extended the full courtesy of a State Visit. We look forward to welcoming President Trump once dates and arrangements are finalized," the British government said in a statement on Tuesday.

"This invitation reflects the importance of the relationship between the United States of America and the United Kingdom. At this stage, final dates have not yet been agreed for the State Visit," the statement added.

The popularity of the vote means a parliamentary debate on whether Trump should be prevented from visiting the U.K. is due to be held on Monday 20 February.

It is usual for visiting U.S. Presidents to address members of parliament as part of their state visit, however, House of Commons speaker John Bercow announced he intended to block Trump from fulfilling this practice.

Bercow claimed the U.K. parliament was strongly opposed to "racism and to sexism" and therefore Trump would not be welcome to speak in the House of Commons.

"An address by a foreign leader to both houses of parliament is not an automatic right; it is an earned honor," Bercow said on February 6.

Reuters reported Trump's state visit to the U.K. could take place around June, citing the outgoing chief of London's Metropolitan police.