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5 January 2016updated 27 Jul 2021 5:28am

Parliament will debate the petition to block Donald Trump from the UK

A Westminster Hall debate is scheduled for the end of this month to ban the Republican presidential hopeful from Britain.

By Anoosh Chakelian

Parliament will debate whether or not Donald Trump should be blocked from entering the UK. An online petition was launchedurging the British government to ban Trump from the UK, following the Republican presidential hopeful’s call for banning Muslims from the US.

Now the petition, called “Block Donald J Trump from UK entry”, has reached the required 100,000 signatures (it now has nearly 600,000), MPs will debate the motion in a Westminster Hall debate on 18 January. It will begin at 4.30pm and could last for three hours.

They will also consider a counter-petition (which has nearly 40,000 signatures) in the same debate, entitled “Don’t ban Trump from the United Kingdom”.

Here’s the government’s response:

“For good reasons the Government does not routinely comment on individual immigration and exclusion decisions.

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“The Home Secretary may exclude a non-European Economic Area national from the UK if she considers their presence in the UK to be non-conducive to the public good.

“The Home Secretary has said that coming to the UK is a privilege and not a right and she will continue to use the powers available to prevent from entering the UK those who seek to harm our society and who do not share our basic values.

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“Exclusion powers are very serious and are not used lightly. The Home Secretary will use these powers when justified and based on all available evidence.

“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.”

And the chair of the Petitions Committee, Helen Jones MP, commented:

“By scheduling a debate on these petitions, the Committee is not expressing a view on whether or not the Government should exclude Donald Trump from the UK. As with any decision to schedule a petition for debate, it simply means that the Committee has decided that the subject should be debated. A debate will allow a range of views to be expressed.”