The British government condemns Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump in its response to a citizen petition to ban the real estate mogul from the country, but it doesn’t clearly state its next move with the proposal.
The petition was created Dec. 8 after Trump called for a temporary ban on all Muslim immigration to the U.S. The petition reached the 100,000 signatures need for Parliament to pick it up for a debate within hours and it currently has more than 566,000 supporters. (RELATED: Petition To Ban Trump From UK Reach Enough Signatures For Parliament Debate)
The government’s mandatory response called Trump’s remarks “divisive, unhelpful and wrong.” It also states that Prime Minister David Cameron “completely disagrees” with the remarks, and that Home Secretary Theresa May will use the powers available to prevent “those who seek to harm our society and who do not share our basic values” from entering the country.
“The Government recognizes 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,” the response reads. “We reject any attempts to create division and marginalization amongst those we endeavor to protect.”
Banning individuals is rare but has happened a handful of times in the past. Speech laws in Britain are stricter than in the U.S. and “hostility” against people based on race, religion and sexual orientation, among other things, is considered a criminal offense.
Recent bans include Islamist preachers and Ku Klux Klan officials, as well as two anti-Muslim bloggers.
“For good reasons the Government does not routinely comment on individual immigration and exclusion decisions,” the government said in its response. “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.”
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