In the United Kingdom, citizen petitions that garner at least 100,000 signatures must be considered in Parliament. So before long, the nation’s supreme legislative body will debate whether or not to ban U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump from its shores.
That’s because more than half a million Britons and counting have signed the “Block Donald J Trump from UK entry” petition, filed with Parliament on December 8, ABC News reported.
And while the British government hasn’t explicitly decided to ban Trump from visiting the country, they haven’t exactly ruled it out, either. In fact, an official statement from the Home Secretary emphasizes her right to ban anyone deemed harmful to British society. And approximately 566,000 Brits certainly think Donald Trump is harmful.
The official petition was filed by someone using the name Suzanne Kelly. It begins by stating that “the UK has banned entry to many individuals for hate speech.”
“The same principles should apply to everyone who wishes to enter the UK. If the United Kingdom is to continue applying the ‘unacceptable behaviour’ criteria to those who wish to enter its borders, it must be fairly applied to the rich as well as poor, and the weak as well as powerful.”
On Wednesday, the British government officially responded to the proposed Donald Trump ban rather vaguely, addressing Home Secretary Theresa May’s right to do so but declining to address Donald’s status. The government doesn’t usually address individual immigration or exclusion cases.
But May did explain that she is perfectly within her rights to tell Donald Trump to stay out of the UK if she wants to. And all of the criteria necessary to justify such a ban may already be met if one is to consider comments made by her office and Prime Minister David Cameron.
In the wake of terrorist and ISIS-linked attacks in San Bernardino and Paris, Trump called for a “total and complete shutdown” of all Muslims from the United States so “our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.” In response, Prime Minister Cameron called Donald “stupid” and “three times a loser,” CNN added.
“Mr. Trump stated, without looking at the various polling data, it is obvious to anybody the hatred is beyond comprehension,” the official statement read. “Where this hatred comes from and why we will have to determine. Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in Jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life.”
So what exactly can Mrs. May do to ban the Donald? The Home Secretary can prohibit any “non-European” from entering the UK if she thinks his or her presence in the country would be “be non-conducive to the public good” and those who “seek to harm our society and who do not share our basic values,” the Telegraph added.
And both she, Cameron, and 566,000 others seem to believe that Trump does not share their “basic values.”
“The Prime Minister has made clear that he completely disagrees with Donald Trump’s remarks. The Home Secretary has said that Donald Trump’s remarks in relation to Muslims are divisive, unhelpful and wrong. The Government recognises the strength of feeling against the remarks and will continue to speak out against comments which have the potential to divide our communities, regardless of who makes them. We reject any attempts to create division and marginalisation amongst those we endeavour to protect.”
The Home Secretary further stated that being able to visit the UK is a “privilege and not a right.” And her rights to exclude people from entering the UK is a “very serious” power, one she does not take lightly. She will thus “use these powers when justified and based on all available evidence.”
And thanks to this petition, the British government will have to consider all that evidence and formally and officially debate whether or not Donald Trump is welcome in the UK. Naturally, Trump isn’t ruffled by the potential ban, scoffing at the half-a-million signatures from people who never want to see him on English soil, saying he has more than 10 million people on his side.
“Between Facebook and Twitter I have much more than 10million. I could get 500,000 with one click.”
[Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images]