The UK is set to host Donald Trump twice this year after London was confirmed as the venue for a major Nato summit in December.
With an invitation still outstanding for the US President to make a formal state visit, the huge protests and expensive police operation when Mr Trump visited the UK last year could be doubled in 2019.
The US president is set to meet with heads of state in London, Nato secretary general Jens Stoltenberg announced on Wednesday. The visit also raises the prospect of another trip to Scotland by the US President, who spent the weekend at his Turnberry 5-star hotel and golf courses following a meeting with Prime Minister Theresa May in July. The ring of steel for his stay at the Ayrshire resort cost Police Scotland £3.2m in additional expenditure. Mr Stoltenberg said: “I am pleased to announce that allies have agreed that the next meeting of Nato heads of state and government will take place in London in December 2019. “The meeting in London will be an opportunity for allied heads of state and government to address the security challenges we face now and in the future, and to ensure that Nato continues to adapt in order to keep its population of almost one billion people safe.” Nato said the meeting is foreseen as a summit of heads of state but it is up to individual nations to determine who to send. Mrs May said she is “very pleased” the UK has been asked to host the leaders during the year of the alliance’s 70th anniversary. “For 70 years Nato has been the cornerstone of our national security. But today’s challenges are very different from those we faced when the alliance established its first headquarters in London,” the Prime Minister said in a statement. “The UK has played a central role throughout Nato’s history as it has adapted to deal with new and complex threats to our security. “So, as we pay tribute to the service men and women who have worked so hard over so many years to keep us safe, December’s meeting is an important opportunity to determine the steps we must now take to modernise the alliance and ensure its continued success.” The total cost of policing Mr Trump’s four-day visit to the UK last year was more than £14.2 million, figures obtained by the Press Association showed this week. There were protests against his presence across the UK, as he met the Queen at Windsor Castle and was hosted by Mrs May at her country retreat Chequers before playing golf at Turnberry. While the proposed visit in December would follow a different schedule, there will be concerns over the cost of securing the controversial leader, with more protests likely.
The Liberal Democrats said they will be “front and centre to protest his visit”, while the Green Party tweeted “we’ll be there to greet him”, adding a defiant gesture.