British Parliament Debating To Ban Donald Trump From Their Country

After an online petition calling for Donald Trump to be permanently banned from the United Kingdom reached nearly 600,000 signatures, the British Parliament was obligated to debate the petition in Parliament. The debate is set to occur on January 17th. Another petition which reached 40,000 signatures opposed the first petition, and that petition will be taken into account during the debate.

The petition, called “Block Donald J. Trump from U.K. entry,” called for the U.K. to ban Trump from entering due to “hate speech,” citing that Britain had blocked people for similar reasons before, and arguing that the same criteria should be applied to rich as well as poor people. The opposing petition said it was absurd for an individual involved in an election that had nothing to do with Britain to be banned, and that if the first petition happened to become policy, it would only cause problems for the United Kingdom in a scenario where Trump becomes President.

The British government replied to both of these petitions identically, saying that they don’t comment on individual immigration and exclusion decisions, but that they understand the “strength of feeling” toward the matter. British Prime Minister David Cameron condemned Trump’s remarks, and “made clear that he completely disagrees” with them.

Most analysts and politicians agree that it’s highly unlikely Parliament will ban Trump, and the decision to debate is more of a formality than a serious consideration. When a petition reaches 10,000 signatures, the British government is obligated to reply, and when a petition reaches 100,000 signatures, they are obligated to debate in Parliament. Banning Trump would essentially be inhibiting free speech, and it would also risk causing diplomatic issues. If Trump becomes the next President of the United States, that will mean the leader of a major ally and their biggest trading partner is officially banned from the country.