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Isles MP unsure on Trump visit

Orkney and Shetland MP Alistair Carmichael.Orkney and Shetland MP Alistair Carmichael.

NORTHERN Isles MP Alistair Carmichael says he is not sure if “much good” will come from Donald Trump’s controversial visit to the UK because of the president’s seeming lack of engagement on issues.

The US president is expected to touch down in London on Thursday before heading to Scotland later on Friday for a couple of days.

But Trump – who is heading to the UK on a working visit, rather than a state one – will be met with a number of mass protests across the country from people who believe the divisive Republican should not be welcomed into the country.

Carmichael said “people who disagree with him absolutely should be protesting”, but conceded that demonstrations probably won’t change Trump’s mind.

The Liberal Democrat added that while he continues to respect the US president position, he “struggles to respect the office holder”.

Trump is due to hold talks with UK prime minister Theresa May, meet industry representatives and the Queen as well as attend a defence site, while in Scotland he is expected to visit his two golf courses.

“In the normal run of things, I would be quite happy to see the president of the United States coming to the United Kingdom, because they are a very important ally for us,” Carmichael said.

“There have been many occasions where I have disagreed with American foreign policy over the years, but there was always a discussion that could be had.

“The problem with this one is that I don’t think that President Trump really has much awareness of the problems that he causes, and as a consequence I don’t think he really is going to listen much to anything that anybody says to him, so the point of his visit is difficult to see – apart from him coming to play golf, which seems to be a big part of it.

“On the one hand I still respect the office, but I struggle to respect the office holder, and I hesitate to say that I wish he wasn’t coming, but I’m not sure that I see much good to come from it.”

Carmichael added that “like a lot of people, I just feel that the next few years of the Trump presidency is something that the world has to get through and I hope that some sort of sanity prevails come the election.”