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27 Oct 2017

UK considered setting up warning system over Trump's unexpected announcements

UK alarmed by Trump's unexpected announcements

It appears the UK government is just as alarmed by its ally US President Donald Trump's unpredictable announcements as everyone else.

In fact, Britain wanted to create an internal warning system to monitor and react to Trump's decisions, according to UK Foreign Office emails accessed by the BBC.

Trump's sudden travel ban and national security announcements had caught the British government off-guard.

In context

UK alarmed by Trump's unexpected announcements

UK concerns

Govt. concerned about impact of travel ban on UK citizen

A majority of the released emails included exchanges between the British Embassy, Washington DC, and the Foreign Office after Trump signed his travel ban executive order.

The January order temporarily banned citizens of seven predominantly-Muslim countries and ended all refugee admissions to the US.

The emails showed the Foreign Office's concerns that British citizens having dual nationality and traveling to America would be affected.

Warning system

Emails reveal UK official wanted Trump warning system

On January 30, senior Foreign Office official Kara Owen sent an email to colleagues, requesting the new warning system for Trump.

"Many of these [executive] orders will no doubt be issued just as London is going to sleep," she wrote.

"I would like us to establish a system for assessing the impact of the orders on UK interests (if any) and offering quick advice."

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Emails indicate steps foreign governments take to deal with Trump

The emails indicate the UK Foreign Office's concerns about Trump's continued unexpected announcements and how they may impact Britain, said James Landale, the BBC's diplomatic correspondent.

This concern is also shared by US officials who too have been "at times equally blindsided by the president's early morning tweets," he adds.

The emails, however, don't indicate any deterioration in the UK's relations with the US.

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