On Tuesday this week, Portugal's parliament approved a motion to reject the programme of the right-of-centre government, requiring its resignation. It is up to the president to appoint a new prime minister, after consulting all parties with seats in parliament.

The Madeira trip is part of a longstanding engagement to do with an initiative aimed at promoting economic dynamism that was launched in April last year with a visit to manufacturing plants in northern Portugal.

No details of the trip are mentioned in the statement, which says only that its objectives and programme are to be unveiled on Friday morning at a briefing.