Preparatory works for the visit were immediately paralyzed after May’s announcement.
The Diplomat. 21/04/2017
Definitely, the King and Queen’s visit of State to the United Kingdom will not take place from 6 to 8 June as planned, since the British Parliament has accepted the proposal made by the Prime Minister, Theresa May, to hold general elections on 8 June.
Yesterday, the Foreign Minister, Alfonso Dastis, who was participating in a joint press conference with his Mexican colleague, Luis Videgaray, said that “the most sensible thing would be for both countries to agree on postponing the visit”. “Obviously, it is not the most propitious thing that a visit intended to revitalise relations takes place in the middle of an election campaign, with a dissolved Parliament and an acting prime minister”, he emphasized.
According to information provided to The Diplomat by reliable sources, the preparatory works for the visit were immediately paralyzed after May’s announcement. As the minister admitted, both governments are in touch and a new date could be set. Nevertheless, Dastis said that a possible announcement would correspond to the Royal Households of Spain and the United Kingdom.
Dastis points out that it is not propitious to travel in the middle of an election campaign
Neither the customs of the United Kingdom nor the usual practice of the King and Queen of Spain are in favour of a visit taking place in the middle of an election campaign. Spain wants to avoid any type of interpretation of possible interference in internal affairs of the United Kingdom, especially when that country has already started negotiating its exit from the European Union. Besides, one of the first conflictive points is the inclusion in the draft of guidelines of negotiation between London and Brussels of the veto capacity on Spain regarding the future of Gibraltar’s relationship with the Twenty-seven.
This is the second postponement of the King and Queen’s visit to the United Kingdom, which was initially planned for the beginning of March. The political instability in Spain and, in particular, the need for King Felipe VI to remain in Spain to hold meetings with the different political groups of the elections of December 2015, to try to form a government, led to the postponement.